Good news: Cliffs, Steelworkers get new contract done quickly | News, Sports, Jobs

The region collectively breathed a sigh of relief last week when it was announced that Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the United Steelworkers Union had reached an agreement on a new contract.

The current agreement between Cleveland Cliffs-owned Tilden Mine and the unionized workers who work there was due to expire at the end of this month.

The new agreement is scheduled to take effect on October 1 and will run for four years.

The USW website notes that the agreement covers multiple areas, including healthcare, benefits, wages and retirement, as well as security, scheduling and seniority.

The pact includes Negaunee’s local USW 4950. Negotiations took place in Pittsburgh. The contract covers approximately 2,000 Steelworkers-represented employees at the Company’s mining and pelleting operations in Upper Peninsula and northern Minnesota.

From our point of view, these negotiations differ from previous ones in a number of respects, starting with the length. The sides were at the table for a relatively short time. Furthermore, the talks did not take on the negativity of some of the previous negotiations.

Obviously both sides wanted an agreement and found one fairly quickly.

“Winning a second collective agreement in less than two weeks reinforces our great alliance with the USW. It also confirms once again that we are very aware of our responsibility as the preferred supplier for customers in critical sectors such as military and automotive.” said Lourenco Goncalves, President and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, in a press release.

The union’s website had this notice: “We have reached a preliminary agreement with Cliffs and will be announcing further details soon. Thank you for your solidarity.”

We applaud both sides for reaching an agreement so quickly. Both groups demonstrated leadership and forward thinking at a time when the region’s economy continues to recover from the pandemic.

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