Contact: Mariana Padias – 412-562-2466
PITTSBURGH –The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that Region 28 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a third consolidated complaint against Asarco, LLC, which includes an allegation that the company unlawfully implemented portions of its so-called “last, best and final” contract proposal on Dec. 1, 2015, in the absence of a bargaining impasse.
Among the conditions Asarco unilaterally changed were provisions affecting workers’ scheduled hours and overtime pay calculations as well as modifications to quarterly bonus payments based on the price of copper. The NLRB accuses Asarco management of discrimination and other practices aimed at interfering with workers exercising rights guaranteed by federal labor laws.
The NLRB issued two previous consolidated complaints against Asarco for unfair labor practices that include “failing and refusing” to negotiate with the unions which represent workers at the Grupo Mexico subsidiary’s five U.S. facilities.
More than 2,000 hourly production and maintenance employees represented by eight international unions have continued to work at Asarco’s copper mines and processing facilities under the terms and conditions of a labor agreement that originally expired in June 2013 but was extended until the parties terminated it in June 2015.
Since then, as the NLRB spells out in a previous complaint, Asarco management unilaterally changed working conditions at the facilities on multiple occasions without first negotiating over the changes with union representatives as required by law. In some cases, the NLRB notes, Asarco management did not even notify the unions before changing the terms and conditions of employment.
The NLRB has scheduled a hearing on March 15, 2016, when an administrative law judge will review evidence against Asarco and listen to testimony in the case.
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
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