USW Marks 16th Anniversary of Pasta de Conchos Mine Disaster

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450,

The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today in recognition of the 16th anniversary of the Feb. 19, 2006, explosion in Grupo Mexico’s Pasta de Conchos mine in Mexico that killed 65 workers:

“The USW joins with the workers’ families and with Los Mineros – the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers, led by Sen. Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, in honoring their lives and demanding justice and accountability from Grupo Mexico, which has relentlessly attacked Gómez and the union for the past two decades.

“The USW is encouraged by the Mexican government’s launch of long-delayed efforts to rescue the bodies of 63 workers that remain in the mine, as well as by the steps to address the needs of workers at the Cananea mine who have been on strike since 2007. The USW awaits the implementation of the Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling last year upholding the legality of the strike at the San Martín mine.

“At the same time, the United Steelworkers are alarmed by the Mexican government’s failure to accept the offer extended by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for a friendly settlement to the union’s complaint regarding the Cananea strike, and by the inexplicable decision of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board to proceed with lawsuits against the union and Sen. Gómez after identical demands were rejected by the courts on multiple occasions.

“The Steelworkers, too, are waiting for justice for USW members who were on strike against Grupo Mexico’s Asarco subsidiary in the United States from Oct. 13, 2019, to July 5, 2020. The National Labor Relations Board issued a consolidated complaint against the company on unfair labor practices filed by the USW and seven other unions that is now awaiting trial.

“As the United Steelworkers remember the victims of Grupo Mexico at Pasta de Conchos, the USW stands in solidarity with Napoleón Gómez, Los Mineros, the workers of Grupo Mexico and their families.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers 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 health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222