FRIDAY MORNING, July 13, 1917
STRIKES COSTING ARIZONA HEAVILY
Loss In Revenue Estimated $100,000 A Week; Material Decrease In Copper Output Makes Situation Critical.
With the strike-inciting eloquence of the I.W.W. in full swing and the found hopes of German propagandists to tie up American mining industries a deplorable reality, serious thinkers in touch with the labor situation in Arizona today are beginning to figure what the present copper mining strikes are costing the people of this State.
What the disorder will cost the United States and the allied cause as a while may only be estimated with a certain degree of accuracy, for nations at war must have copper, and the curtailment of the supply for any length of time is too serious a detriment to be expressed in dollars and cents. But the loss to Arizona in taxes may be definitely computed.
One hundred thousand dollars a week is the amount kept from the State treasury by the strikes now going on, according to one estimate. That figure is based upon the taxes the copper companies would pay for the privilege of taking ore out of the ground if they were operating full capacity. The tax payments are computed upon the tonnage of copper produced and the price received for it.
It has been estimated that under normal conditions, Arizona’s production this month would have been approximately 90,000,000 pounds. This amount has been more than cut in two by the strikes now in progress, with a resultant loss of more than $400,000 to the State in taxes. The business men, the farmers, and the cattlemen will have to dig down deep into their pockets to make up the deficit in the revenue of the commonwealth, for it takes money to conduct the business of a State, strikes or no strikes.
Then too there is the general business depression that cannot be dispelled as soon as the men go back to work. Merchants will lose heavily in the districts affected, for without their wages, the mass of laboring people cannot buy ordinary commodities. Manufacturers of mining machinery and equipment all over the United States will feel the pinch, and there are few in any way connected with copper mining, or with Arizona, who will not suffer from the sudden retrenchment.
Another thing, aside from the monetary side of the question must be considered. The mines now shut down on account of the strikes could not get back into efficient operation in less than two months if the men were to go back to work tomorrow. Some of the companies could not get back to their normal working conditions within five months.
In addition to the 46,000,000 pounds of copper a month withheld from the nation by I.W.W. activists in Arizona, 22,000,000 pounds a month are seriously threatened by impending labor troubles in this State.
The striking Arizona miners are probably losing the highest wage opportunity that will be available for some time. The Bisbee wage this month, regulated by the price of copper in June is %5.85 a day, undoubtedly an extraordinary price to pay for labor. The strike call of last week at Bisbee incorporated a demand for $6 a day.
What will be the ultimate outcome of the apparent design to cripple America at war, is a question that is troubling public officials. I.W.W leaders are said to have threatened one strike after another to gain their ends, while copper companies declare the demands upon them are out of the question. Meanwhile the nation waits anxiously for the crisis to pass.