Arizona Miner Strike Case Study

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On the first day of July 1983, The Arizona Miner’s strike started. The miners in Clifton and Morenci downed their tools as a show of solidarity and protest against the ownership of the mine at the time. The dispute began as a result of differing opinions between the Phelps Dodge Corporation and the local chapter of the United Steelworkers Union. Phelps Dodge had been in the mining business for more than 100 years at the time, but its mining activities were full of Rampant structural violence, racism, and labor segregation. As a result, the strike took shape and lasted for close to three years. Consequently, the union workers were replaced and eventually had their union decertified. In its show of might, Phelps Dodge Corporation would deport…show more content…
Kennecott directors actually preferred the bargaining discipline of settling all the contracts with the unions at once, at one table” (Rosenblum, 1998, p. 68). In late spring of that year, Kennecott and the union coalition had reach an agreement on a new three-year contract. Many of those involved in this strike saw this as good news. The idea of providing financial security for their families and to being treated fairly for their work had most union members, including Lopez, thinking positively. As negotiations began in earnest, the quiet optimism that was once there faded quickly. Phelps Dodge handed out a detailed list of proposals. Although a long list, most of the union leaders had seen many of the items before, but Rosenblum points out two rather alarming surprises as well: First, the company was unilaterally terminating all ‘side agreements.’ These were accords dating back as far as the 1950s that covered gaps in the contracts…and had been understood as agreements in perpetuity by the union locals. Second, the company was insisting on the managerial prerogative to return to the notorious “26 and 2” work schedule, literally twenty-six consecutive days on the job followed by two days off. (p.…show more content…
From a prescriptive point of view, the personal aspect of conflict deals with minimizing “the destructive effects of social conflict and to maximize its potential for growth in the person as an individual human being” (p. 24). Alex Lopez was at the heart of this conflict that changed the lives of so many. Yet he was still fighting the good fight nearly fifteen years later. Since the end of the strike, Lopez “had been riding the Steelworkers’ southwest circuit—as staff representative in Arizona and New Mexico, district director in Los Angeles, and, finally, back to Tucson as special assistant on organizing and negotiating to Steelworkers president George Becker” (Rosenblum, 1998, p.

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