Steel Mills

Cliffs: The Vax Incentive Program Worked

Written by David Schollaert

Cleveland-Cliffs reported that its COVID vaccination incentive program worked. In July, the steelmaker launched a voluntary bonus program, in collaboration with its labor unions, to achieve a higher vaccine adoption rate across the business. The company says it reached a total vaccination rate of 75%, or nearly 19,000 employees out of its 25,000 workforce, by the Aug. 21 due date. 

cliffs natural resourcesUnder the program, Cliffs agreed to pay an employee at least $1,500 to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. An additional $1,500 would be paid out to locations that reached a 75% vaccination threshold. The 45-day program was initiated at a time when the company’s vaccination rate was 35%, or roughly 9,000 employees.

The company’s feat exceeds vaccination rates of the local communities where the facilities are located and is well ahead of the national vaccination rate.

“I am delighted with the success of our vaccine incentive program,” said Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs chairman and CEO. “I appreciate the support of our local managers and union partners in making herd immunity a reality at the majority of our locations.” He added: “I implore both my steel producing peers and all other companies who have not already done so to implement similar programs in order to defeat this nasty virus in our country once and for all.”

Cliffs’ Indiana Harbor mill achieved a vaccination rate of 78%, while its Middletown Works and United Taconite both reached a 75% vaccination rate.

By David Schollaert,


David Schollaert

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