Steel Markets

USW Ratifies Contract with Cliffs Natural Resources

Written by Sandy Williams

United Steelworkers at Cliffs Natural Resources ratified a new 3-year labor contract today. The contract is effective retroactively as of October 1, 2015 and will run through September 30, 2018. The agreement covers approximately 2,000 USW represented employees at Cliffs’ mines in Michigan and Minnesota.

USW International President Leo Gerard praised USW members for their unity and dedication during the lengthy negotiation and ratification process.

“Through no fault of their own, too many of our brothers and sisters have dealt with the uncertainty of an industry downturn brought about by decades of misguided trade policies,” Gerard said. “We are looking forward to a more secure future with ratification complete and a fair collective bargaining agreement in place.”

The new agreement preserves wages, benefits and other rights and protections without lowering the standard of living for current workers or retirees, said USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez.

“Settling our differences with management at the table will enable all of us to focus on addressing the industry’s real problems, such as global overcapacity and the unfair and often illegal foreign trade practices that depress prices, close facilities and cost jobs,” said Ramirez.

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