Thursday, July 24, 2008

AFL-CIO endorses Vedanta/Sterlite bid for Asarco

The President of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, issued a statement yesterday, supporting the bid by India-based Vedanta Resources, parent company of Sterlite Industries, to buy Asarco.

Sweeney said, "We urge those decision makers to support the bid by Vedanta Resources PLC to assure a future for the workers and their families at ASARCO and to reject the competing inferior offer by the other bidder, Grupo Mexico.

"When ASARCO was controlled by Grupo Mexico from 1999 to 2005, labor relations were marked by constant strife. The company unilaterally cut health care benefits for hundreds of retirees and halted disability benefits for other employees. Grupo Mexico has stripped ASARCO of its most valuable assets. ASARCO was then starved of essential equipment for its U.S. operations."

The Vedanta/Sterlite offer has been challenged by some congressional representatives and environmental groups over concerns about the company's environmental commitment.

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