Phelps Dodge Strike

Phelps Dodge Strike

In 1983, low copper prices prompted Phelps Dodge to lay off some workers and reduce working hours for the remaining workers at its copper mine in Clifton-Morenci.  The mine workers’ union called a strike, and when Phelps Dodge and the union could not agree on a resolution, the company began to replace striking union workers with non-union workers.  The strike turned violent, prompting Governor Babbitt to declare a state of emergency that lasted until August 10, 1985.

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. When did the Phelps Dodge strike begin? When did it end?
  2. How was the Phelps Dodge strike different from the strike that resulted in the Bisbee Deportation? How was it similar?
  3. Who created the documents linked above? Did they support the strikers or Phelps Dodge? How does their position affect the documents they wrote?
  4. Would you have joined the strike if you worked for Phelps-Dodge in the early 1980s? Why or why not?

Explore More

Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?

For Students


Labor and Economics