Cliffs – USW Talks Take a Break

Cliffs Natural Resources and the United Steelworkers Union have mutually agreed to take a temporary recess from labor contract negotiations as of Friday evening, August 31, 2012, without reaching a tentative contract agreement.

As agreed to earlier on Friday, there will be no work stoppage initiated by either party and operations will continue at the Cliffs’ USW represented mines in Michigan and Minnesota.

Cliffs remains committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract with the United Steelworkers and the Company looks forward to resuming contract negotiations in the very near future.

The two sides have reached a short-term agreement in which the union has agreed to not strike and the company not do a lock out without giving the other party 48 hours notice.

The contract extension covers approximately 2,400 USW-represented workers at Cliffs’ Empire and Tilden mines IN Marquette County and its United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota. The extension will keep the mines operating while negotiations continue.  Employees of the facilities are to report to work as scheduled.

According to a press release from company officials, Cliffs began this round of collective bargaining with the United Steelworkers in early May with the objective of reaching a new labor agreement.  Cliffs stated that the company remains committed to the negotiation process and intends to reach a fair and equitable agreement.  Additional information is available at: and at