Arizona Copper Strike : Conflict Analysis

1717 WordsDec 5, 20157 Pages
The Arizona towns of Clifton and Morenci, Arizona have a rich history with conflict and conflict transformation. The conflict between the Phelps Dodge Corporation (PDC) and United Steelworkers (USW) took place from 1983 to 1985 and had drastic implications on United States labor relations. This conflict analysis will focus on the conflict’s background, its evolution, and the parties and their issues. In addition, a reflection on important conflict resolution principles will be provided. Arizona Copper Strike: Conflict Analysis Copper is an essential part of the history of the United States, as most industrial machines need copper to operate. Wiring, vehicle construction, and roofing are but a few things made with copper. PDC was one of the leading copper mines in the Arizona. PDC was the “owner” of Morenci, the company owns or controls major services in the town, everything from electric power to the police service (Rosenblum, 1995 p.5). Many of the mineworkers, a majority (80%), were Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, who settled in Arizona in the early parts of the 20th century. This ethnic group fought long and hard for union representation as a way to solidify employee benefits and hold PDC accountable for unfair labor laws. In 1981, an economic recession affected the price of precious metals, including copper. In 1982, PDC faced three challenges: international competition, hard bargaining unions, and resistance to internal changes. PDC was forced to terminate 3,400 miners’

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