Steel Mills

USW/Cliffs Master Negotiations Begin with Promise

Written by David Schollaert

The United Steelworkers (USW) and Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. both seem eager to get a new labor pact done quickly, with potentially few hurdles along the way, statements by both parties indicate.

USWThe USW provided members with an upbeat report following an initial round of master contract bargaining with the Cleveland-based steelmaker. Meetings were held in Pittsburgh earlier this week.

The union said that Cliffs understands that its plants run best when “management and our union work together to solve problems for the benefit of everyone.”

Talks focused on pay, healthcare, pensions, profit sharing, and job security, among other things, the union said.

The union’s report also noted that Cliffs chairman, president, and CEO Lourenco Goncalves is “committed to invest in its USW facilities” by improving production and shortening supply chains, a move that supports “long-term sustainable employment and success” of the USW workforce.

The update potentially signals a swift and peaceful negotiation between the steelworkers’ union and Cliffs. The USW anticipates that a “good faith collective bargaining will result in a fair contract,” the update said.

Cliffs echoed that sentiment.

“We have the same view as the USW. Cleveland-Cliffs and the USW have successfully negotiated agreements for decades based on our shared commitment to the middle class and our common goals,” a company spokeswoman said.

“We are confident that our bargaining process will result in a fair and equitable agreement,” she added.

The spokeswoman declined to discuss specifics of the talks “out of respect for the bargaining process”.

The USW’s current labor pact with the Cleveland-based steelmaker expires on Sept. 1.

The master contract negotiations cover the following locations. Also listed are the products those operations make:

  • Local 6787: Burns Harbor, Ind. – sheet and plate mill
  • Local 979: Cleveland, Ohio – sheet mill
  • Local 1165: Coatesville, Pa. – plate mill
  • Local 9462: Conshohocken, Pa. – plate finishing
  • Local 1010: Indiana Harbor East, East Chicago, Ind. – sheet mill
  • Local 1011: Indiana Harbor West, East Chicago, Ind. – sheet mill
  • Local 1010: Riverdale, Ill. – compact hot strip mill
  • Local 1688L Steelton, Pa. – rail mill
  • Local 6115: Minorca Mines, Minn. – iron ore
  • Local 1375: Warren Coke, Ohio – coke
  • Local 2911: Weirton, W.Va. – tinplate

Not included under this master contract negotiation are Cliffs’ Dearborn Works in Michigan and Rockport Works in Indiana, both represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW).

By David Schollaert,


David Schollaert

Read more from David Schollaert

Latest in Steel Mills