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Resource ID: #17285
Subject: Worker Safety
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix)
Date: 2000-08-06



The Arizona Republic investigated an array of safety violations at a copper mine near Tucson, Arizona. The series started with a story about a fatal rock-fall that caused the death of a miner. This incident led the reporters "to a disturbing story of unsafe conditions, worker intimidation and regulatory laxity surrounding the mostly Hispanic workers..." The investigation found that "Mission Mine management refused to regularly install safety bolts, used to prevent failing rocks" and that Asarco, the owning company, "cordoned off unsafe areas to keep inspectors out even though miners regularly worked there." The reporters revealed a vicious circle that didn't allow the miners to prevent the dangers. The investigation found that "mine managers ordered a supervisor ... to fire employees who complained," while the local regulatory office refused to take seriously anonymous safety complaints.

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