Magma, Asarco Copper Contracts

By Ruben, George | Monthly Labor Review, October 1989 | Go to article overview

Magma, Asarco Copper Contracts


Ruben, George, Monthly Labor Review


Magma, Asarco copper contracts

In the copper industry, new agreements between Magma Copper and Asarco, Inc. and Steelworkers and other unions provided for guaranteed compensation gains for employees. In contrast, the 1986 accords among the parties called for compensation cuts forced by worldwide depression in the industry. Since then, the industry has rebounded and employees at Magma have received quarterly payments under a formula in the 1986 contract linked to the price of copper. The distributions were calculated at 60 cents for each hour worked in the third quarter of 1987, and at $5.50 (the maximum under the formula), $5.25, and $5 in the following quarters. A possible payment for the fourth quarter of 1988 is in dispute.

Under the 1989 contract at Magma, each 5-cent-a-pound rise in the price of copper (up to $1.70) results in wage increases ranging from 3 to 4 cents an hour for lower rated employees to 9 or 10 cents for top-rated employees. Under the 1986 contract, each 1-cent rise in the price of copper from 71-90 cents resulted in a 10-cent pay increase, and each 1-cent rise from 91 cents to $1 resulted in a 25-cent pay increase. …

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