Morenci High School - Copper Cat Yearbook (Morenci, AZ)

 - Class of 1984

Page 9 of 152


Morenci High School - Copper Cat Yearbook (Morenci, AZ) online yearbook collection, 1984 Edition, Page 9 of 152
Page 9 of 152

Morenci High School - Copper Cat Yearbook (Morenci, AZ) online yearbook collection, 1984 Edition, Page 8
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Page 9 text:

Two striking copper miners stand picket duty at the main entrance to the mine. STRIKE abor dispute breeds strife, tension and turmoil Will Morenci ever be the same? This was the question many people were asking prior to the opening of the school year. Events that had oc- curred during the two-month old strike had made for a very uncertain future. The strike began on July 1 when negotiations between Phelps Dodge and the unions stalled due to dis- agreement on the cost-of-living clause. Phelps Dodge officials felt that falling copper prices made it nec- essary to cut COLA, whereas the un- ions wanted a contract similar to that negotiated by Kennecott. In the past, strikes had been un- eventful as PD shut down their oper- ations while negotiations went on. This time, however, Phelps Dodge continued operating using salaried personnel working two twelve-hour shifts. As the weeks passed and the num- ber of day's pay employees choosing to cross the picket line increased, so did tension in the town. Strikers gath- ered in increasing numbers along the road to the plant, shouting at those employees who continued to work during the strike. Tempers reached a boiling point in August with the company's an- nouncement that it would begin hiring outside workers to fill jobs left vacant by the strikers. For three nights Mor- enci was on the verge of a disaster as carloads of strikers and their families rallied throughout town venting their anger on all nonstrikers. Then, on Monday morning, August 8, striking miners caused the closure of the em- ployment office. An estimated 1, OOO men, women, and children gathered along U.S. 666 preventing the even- ing shift change. Governor Bruce Babbitt flew to the area late that evening to meet with company offi- cials and union representatives. At the request of the Governor, and faced with the possibility of forced closure by violence, PD officials agreed Tuesday morning, August 9, to a ten-day shutdown and cooling-off period. In the early morning hours of Thursday, August 18, local residents were awakened by the sound of heli- copters flying over the townsite as a convoy of National Guard units rolled into town. Joined by hundreds of DPS officers, the troops prepared for pos- sible violence when the mine re- opened the following day, August 19. Although the presence of the Na- tional Guard and DPS officers pre- vented further mass demonstrations and the mine reopened without inci- dence, the resentment by strikers of those who crossed the picket line per- sisted. The strike was far from over when school opened on August 29 and parents, teachers, and adminis- trators alike wondered what effect the events of the summer would have on the school year. Strike 5

Page 8 text:

Cars gather in the parking lot of the general office preparing for the daily convoy past the strikers into the mine. Members of the Arizona National Guard set up tents in the plant on Thursday, August 18. Lr'i1"'Qx' 1 x e Located on the 1110 dump, a small city emerges following the arrival of the National Guard and DPS in Morenci, Over two hundred DPS officers were on duty at the plant gate when the mine re- opened on August 19. 4 Strike RVN ai 3' L' '7"N-.drum Y 44"-nu ki' A nik XZ iv' 1 LXWKW In mum Qt. l -'ill Q n I. rn.

Page 10 text:

Before boarding the rescue helicopter, a man is helped onto the roof from the second story balcony of the Rode lnn Motel. A partially demolished Sears building stands among the wreckage in the aftermath of the storm. l iv ' 'I 1, il t. .5 i 3 -.3 Q, .aww -.,.:cff f ..- ings Q 3 - .. .i.....--... The Flood of ,83 Five days of rain causes devastating damage This was the flood Clifton-Morenci residents will always remember . . , the flood that destroyed the old bridge in North Clifton along with nu- merous homes and businesses throughout the town the flood that sealed off Morenci from the rest of the world for two days . . . the flood that canceled the annual game between the Trojans and the Wildcats and ultimately caused Clifton to for- feit the remainder of its football schedule . , . the flood that prevented the Wildcat volleyball teams from re- turning home after a match in Will- cox. This was the flood we'll talk about for years to come and which will be used as a standard of comparison for future floods. Although we knew there was the possibility the raging San Francisco River might overflow its banks as it had done several times in the past, no one expected the massive flooding that actually occurred during the weekend of October 1 and 2. We first became aware of the dan- ger when students living in Clifton and 6 Flood of '83 York Valley were summoned from classes Friday afternoon, September 30. "I was told the river might go over the bridge at approximately 3:O0," remembered Lorraine Moya, "and Mrs. Windsor suggested I go home immediately." Because of the flood danger and an extremely wet football field at Clifton High School, the annual copper ingot game between the two arch-rivals was rescheduled Friday afternoon to be played at Morenci the next night. By Saturday evening, however, the foot- ball game was the last thing on any- one's mind as Clifton was buried un- der eight feet of water and tons of mud and sand. The San Francisco River had jumped its banks Saturday afternoon at 2:30. Washouts on most roads in South- ern Arizona made travel between towns virtually impossible for several days and many Morenci residents found themselves unable to get home. Many teachers, including Mr. Roy Faulkner, found themselyes on the wrong side of the river. Determined to get back to Morenci, Mr. Faulkner hiked to the old "black bridge" by ml picnic area and walked across it Some people on the other side ther' gave him a ride to town. Reminiscin Mr. Faulkner said: "It was quite a experience! The bridge is an old rai road trestle without any sides. inched my way across the steel beam with my arms held tightly to my side Below me, the water was roaring u der the bridge taking trees and othe debris with it. It was about the scaries predicament I've ever been in." Morenci's volleyball teams, retur ing from a match in Willcox, wer unable to get home. Volunteering t house the girls until the bridge r opened, athletic director Tom Po ers and his wife had 44 houseguest for two days at their York Valle home. "lt was like a big slumber pa ty," stated Mr. Powers. "The kid made beds out of anything they coul find." School in Morenci was canceled f two days as local students and teac ers assisted with the cleanup. Clifto schools remained closed for tw weeks until power, water, an

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