Cliffs Layoffs Coming in January

A month ago, Cliffs Natural Resources said they were thinking about cutting production in the U.P.

They said if it happened, it would mean hundreds of layoffs…and now, it *is* happening.

Cliffs says they’ll have to lay off up to 350 people at the Empire and Tilden Mines.

That’s about 20% of their workforce in Marquette County.

The layoffs are a result of production cuts for 2009.

Cliffs says they’re expecting the mines to turn out 6.7 million tons of iron ore pellets next year between them.

That’s just half of what they’re capable of producing.

Company officials say the global economic slump is to blame.

It’s hurt the steel business in North America, which means customers don’t need as many pellets.

In late October, Cliffs also said it’d lay off employees and cut production in Minnesota.