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Hispanic Heritage Month

Miners Nix Union Where Strike Used For Classic Chicano Film

A New Mexico county where the union activism of mine workers served as the backdrop for a film that became a feminist and Chicano Studies classic has lost its last miners' union after workers voted against participating.

United Steelworkers Union members at Chino Mine in Hurley, New Mexico, decertified their union in a vote of 236 to 83 last week, according to reports.

Hurley is in Grant County, where a strike against the Empire Zinc Mine was filmed for the 1954 movie "Salt of the Earth. In the film, Mexican-American miners barred by federal law from striking against a zinc company are replaced on the picket line by their wives.

Grant County now won't have union representation at any mine within the county. The Steelworkers Union represented 360 Chino Mine employee.

"Salt of the Earth" was blacklisted in the U.S. during Cold War retribution against communist filmmakers and gained an underground following more than a decade later when it was finally shown.

_ The Associated Press

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