Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) and the United Steelworkers (USW) have penned a new 4-year labor contract. The contract is effective as of October 1, 2018. The agreement whose details remain unknown will protect close to 1,800 employees located at Cliffs’ Tilden and Empire mines in Michigan. It will also cover those at the company’s United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota. However, word has it that the agreement is yet to get authorization by USW local union memberships.
The agreement reinforces the work solidarity between Cliffs and USW
The two companies have come a long way in building their business foundations. Each of them has its unique strengths and expertise, which have led them into their current prosperity. According to Cliffs’ officials, it is only reasonable to give its members a fair share of current prosperity of the industry. In any case, they made sacrifices during the tough times. One of the challenges that Cliffs had to deal with is the sale of its Asian-Pacific ore interests located across the United States.
However, there seems to be some hope of revival according to the company’s CEO Lourenco Goncalves. He says, “We are pleased to reach a new labor contract that is fair and equitable to both parties, and provides Cliffs a competitive cost structure for future success.”
Nonetheless, the Iron ore mining company did confirm that it had retained a small share of the iron ore operations in Minnesota and Michigan.
Cliffs has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits
The signing of the agreement is one of major milestones Cliffs has obtained. It is worth noting that Cliffs is the oldest independent iron ore mining company in the US. It is also in the list of being the major supplier of iron ore pellets in several regions including North American. It is now aiming at being the sole producer of hot briquetted iron (HBI) by 2020.
However, in the recent past, the company has rattled the industry with labor disputes. In addition to the lawsuits, it has also had ongoing and unrelated disagreements with the state. Separately, Cliffs sued the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources because of mining permits and leases.