Clifton then a part of graham county in eastern

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in 1903. Clifton, then a part of Graham County in eastern Arizona, smelted most of the copper ore from the nearby Morenci area. Morenci and neighboring Metcalf were mostly "Mexican towns," situated on cop- per company land near the Arizona, Detroit, and Shannon Copper Com- pany mines high above Clifton. Morenci was a big company town, Metcalf a much smaller agglomeration of shacks and small houses. The two largest copper operators, the Arizona Company and the Detroit Company, were both managed by the James, Lewis, and Walter Douglas family and were affiliates of the Phelps-Dodge Corporation. Trouble began at Clifton-Morenci when the Arizona territorial legis- lature passed an eight-hour law in 1903. The law stipulated that the maxi- mum allowable shift time for underground mining workers was to be eight hours, beginning on 1 June 1903. Clifton-Morenci's Arizona and De- troit Copper Mining Company mines were the only big extractive opera- tions in all of Arizona Territory that employed large numbers of excep- tionally low-wage underground mining workers on ten hour shifts in 1903. The two companies were also the largest employers of non-Anglo indus- trial labor in all of Arizona. The eight-hour law was deliberately aimed at the Clifton-Morenci copper companies, in the spirit of closed shop union- ism. Its intent was to force the corporations to surrender the special ad- vantages that they had accrued through the abuse of their immigrant 14 WFM, Proceedings... 1902; Proceedings... 1903; and Proceedings... 1907. Alan Dawley, Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn (Cambridge, MA, 1976), 236. 328 August This content downloaded from 137.110.192.6 on Sat, 17 Sep 2016 19:24:13 UTC All use subject to
PHIL MELLINGER work force, and to coerce the work force into either accepting wage and hour standards, or quitting their jobs.15 The copper companies refused to obey the spirit of the new they offered a last minute compromise. They offered "to pay ground men nine hours' pay for eight hours work."16 The company was a pay raise if calculated on an hourly basis, but it was actu percent pay cut when calculated on a daily basis, which was the onl ingful calculation for the poorly paid Italian, Mexican, an American workingmen at Clifton-Morenci. The strike began on ing of 1 June.17 There were about 3,500 strikers, according to one hostile Cli ident. "It made a pretty big crowd - mostly Mexicans, but a lot Bohunks, and foreigners of different kinds ... no whites at all cans," which may have meant immigrant Mexicans, U. S. born m panic ancestry, and even immigrant Spaniards, were probably of the men on strike. Most of the other strikers were Italian immi Together, they constituted an overwhelming physical pres tographs of the scene show strikers, hundreds of them at a time, n picketing, but occupying the mining properties. They sto 15 Arizona Republican (Phoenix), 11 June 1903, p. 2; and Arizona Silver Be March 1903, p. 1.Joseph F. Park, "The History of Mexican Labor in Arizona Du ritorial Period" (Master's thesis, University of Arizona, 1961), especially pp.

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