More on the Chino Layoffs

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So, looks like the job-cuts aren’t limited to SW New Mexico: Freeport McMoRan is cutting 20% of its U.S. workforce as it moves to reduce production across the board. The Daily Press also has a bit more on the local cuts this afternoon. In addition, looks like the AP expanded its coverage as well, with a really solid article:

Silver City is a prime example of how the global economic troubles — such as China’s cut in steel production or the domestic auto and housing woes — have hurt small towns across America.

“Copper truly gives a picture of the economy,” Silver City Mayor James Marshall said. “When the price of copper is up, the economy is healthy. When the economy drops, copper follows.”

If there’s any more evidence that the U.S. needs a federally-backed stimulus plan, one centered around infrastructure, I don’t know where you’ll find it. James is right – when you’re building cars and homes and routing cable to new subdivisions or creating SUPERTRAINS, you’re using copper. When the average price drops (according to the Daily Press) by $2 a pound, those things aren’t happening.

In addition, you can imagine copper will figure into a stimulus package that creates green jobs. Sure is reassuring to know we have a president-elect who is committed to that sort of goal.

Regardless, it’s probably going to be rough in Grant County for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, New Mexico’s current (and incoming) congressional delegation is already on the case, seeking federal assistance for affected workers: ((Hat tip to Peter St. Cyr (via Twitter) for the link))

The news has prompted Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator-elect Tom Udall and Representative-elect Harry Teague, all New Mexico Democrats, to send a letter today to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

They are asking that the U.S. Department of Labor act quickly to determine whether the workers will be eligible for federal assistance.

On a personal note, it appears as though several members of my family are going to be impacted by this decision. It really hits home, as they say, to realize what the past 8 years have meant for my loved ones.

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