Workers forced out on strike by Asarco copper bosses in Arizona and Texas are coming together Feb. 24 to protest outside the national conference of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration at the Convention Center in Phoenix. Some 6,000 industry people will be at the conference, sponsored by Freeport-McMoRan, one of the world’s largest copper companies and operator of the nonunion Phelps Dodge mine in Morenci.
Some 1,700 copper miners have been on strike since October against Asarco bosses’ efforts to bust their unions, with no negotiations or end in sight.
This important labor battle is little known outside of the Southwest. The mines are located in rural areas and the boss press keeps a near blackout on coverage of the fight.
The strikers need — and richly deserve — solidarity and support of other workers and their unions. They should be invited by unions across the country to speak about the stakes in the strike. They need financial and other donations to continue to staff the picket lines and provide for their families.
Alyson Kennedy, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president, will be joining the miners at the protest and visiting their picket lines afterwards. She’ll be speaking about this important struggle and soliciting support as she tours around the country.
While many Democratic Party politicians in Arizona pledge support to the strike, they have done little to put real pressure on Asarco. The road forward is not to tie workers’ interests to the Democrats — or to any capitalist political party. Only growing independent working-class action and solidarity can make a difference in this or any labor battle.
From one end of the country to the other, workers know that we face ongoing attacks from profit-driven bosses, in the mines, mills, factories, warehouses, transport companies, retail behemoths like Walmart and Amazon, and their governments in Washington and the 50 state capitals.
The strength we have is our numbers and the fact that workers produce all the wealth in this country from our labor. If we use this power on our own behalf and in solidarity with others, here and around the world, we can begin to make gains.
Join us Feb. 24 in Phoenix! If you can’t make it, help get out the word about the miners’ fight. The Militant carries firsthand coverage, help get it around. Invite the strikers to come to your city and speak.
Their fight is all of our fight.