The USW met with workers at Cliffs Natural Resources in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to discuss warnings by the company of potential increases in health care premiums for retirees.
A letter sent to retired workers by Cliffs in November contained rate increases that the USW believes to be incorrectly calculated. The union has not been able to successfully address the changes with the company.
“As soon as we learned of the company’s letter, we scheduled a meeting with management in an effort to resolve this matter,” wrote USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton in a letter to retirees. “Unfortunately, the company continued to insist on moving forward with its planned premium increases and seemed determined to force the USW to go to arbitration over these rates.
“Unfortunately, Cliffs seems determined to force substantial cost increases onto the backs of its retirees rather than seeking a compromise that works for both sides,” said Bolton. “We understand that this is a difficult time for our industry, but causing harm to senior citizens who have worked hard their whole lives is not the answer to this crisis.”
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