AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - ASARCO workers are now a month into striking, making it four weeks without pay.
“It causes a lot of uncertainty. You don’t know exactly which way to go. You try and survive the best you can,” said Charles Ware, ASARCO worker.
United Steelworkers says now they have entered week four, the union will start providing money, not enough to equal a paycheck, but if someone is needing helping to pay bills, they will step in.
“We make sure our members when we’re involved in a labor dispute can meet their bills, and their families can be taken care of. As you saw earlier, we have an entire food pantry out at the hall, so the food needs of our members are being met,” said Ben Lilienfeld, sub-district director of the Texas United Steelworkers.
The union also says the community has played a big part in donating household items you would typically take for granted.
“We have a lot of younger families with kids, and these products are products needed daily. So the community has been good, the unions have stepped up and donated so much stuff,” said John Saavedra, president of local 5613.
Some picketers are not only thankful for the resources being donated, but also trying to make a little extra during the strike, but without success.
“I’ve been to about twelve different locations trying to get a job, but once they realize you are on strike they don’t want to waste their resources on you, and you can’t blame them, but maybe we need to get with Congress, and after ten or twelve jobs you guys start playing some unemployment from these guys, and we’ll cut this strikeout, because we got families that need to be fed and kids and we need to go to work,” said Kermiet Baker, ASARCO worker.
We have reached out to ASARCO Amarillo copper refinery, who referred us to ASARCO headquarters, who we have yet to hear back from.
“Just pray for us, at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to do the trick, prayer," said Ware.
Negations between United Steelworkers and ASARCO are scheduled to begin November 14th in Phoenix.