Steelworker talks go to the wire; tune in Friday morning

We’re still waiting on word from Pittsburgh about the outcome of negotiations between the United Steelworkers and the three companies that operate taconite mines in northern Minnesota and Michigan. A deal may be reached today but would have to be ratified by membership, sight unseen, sometime before the Friday midnight deadline to avoid work stoppages during peak production on the Iron Range.

Steelworker contacts tell me this negotiation session has been unlike previous ones in that very little news has come home from the tables out East. Threats of temporary workers at Cliffs Natural Resource properties were met with strike tents and preparations for pickets by the Steelworkers. Word is that it is Arcelor-Mittal, owner of Inland, is the one driving the hardest bargain. U.S. Steel is also involved in the discussions.

No replacement workers have been seen on the Range as of last night. To me, it seems a strike with such strong market demand for taconite right now is highly unlikely. But there are subtle wars going on for the future of labor on the Range, and that is no small thing.

I’ll be on Minnesota Public Radio’s The Daily Circuit live at 10 a.m. Friday talking about the labor situation and the condition of the labor movement in northern Minnesota. Tune in on the MPR News network or at


  1. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
    from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would
    really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.