As the Oct. 1 contract deadline approaches, labor negotiations at Cliffs Natural Resources are slowly progressing. The USW bargaining committee presented a proposal on Sept. 19 to the company which was discussed at meetings on Sept. 25.
“We are beginning to see some progress and top table talks will continue through the weekend,” said the USW in an update to members. “Meanwhile, each local has continued to meet with company HR representatives to negotiate local issues. So far there has been minimal progress on those issues.”
Hundreds of members and supporters of USW Locals 4950 and 4974 rallied on Sept 26 to demand a fair contract for workers at Cliffs.
“Remember, we are fighting the same fight that our brothers and sisters from ATI, U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal are fighting,” said the USW, “for affordable health care for active workers and retirees, secure pensions, strong contract language and other important issues.”
SMU learned that a letter was sent out by Cliffs on September 18th explaining that a contingency plan is being prepared in case discussions break down. Although the company is optimistic that a new labor agreement can be reached, they are making the necessary provisions to continue to operate in the event of a work stoppage.
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