Cliffs reaches tentative agreement with USW

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A labor union and the owner of the two Marquette County iron mining operations have come to a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Cliffs Natural Resources officials announced Friday that the agreement was reached between Cliffs and the United Steelworkers on a new three-year labor contract retroactive to October 1st, 2015. The new contract will cover around 2,000 USW-represented workers at Cliffs’ Tilden and Empire mines in Michigan as well as the United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota.

Cliffs Chairman, President, and CEO Lourenco Goncalves called the new labor contract “fair and equitable to both parties.”

The agreement is pending ratification by USW local union memberships. Officials say no additional details will be released until ratification is complete.

The Empire Mine in Palmer ceased operations earlier this month and is being placed under indefinite idle. The Tilden is set to continue normal operations.