U.S. Steel responds to Keewatin Taconite rumors

UPDATE: U.S. Steel spokesperson Courtney Boone just told me that the company did not fire¬†50 management workers at Keewatin Taconite today. My source was in error. Thus, I am retracting the post for now. The mine really is going into indefinite shutdown next week, however, with some staff staying on for scheduled maintenance projects until about August. So people will be out of work this summer and probably for much longer than that. U.S. Steel did not disclose whether or not their would be layoffs, though; just that this didn’t happen today.

The entrance to Keewatin Taconite, a U.S. Steel mine on the western Mesabi Iron Range. (PHOTO: City of Keewatin)

The entrance to Keewatin Taconite, a U.S. Steel mine on the western Mesabi Iron Range. (PHOTO: City of Keewatin)

A mine worker has informed me that 50 salaried workers at Keewatin Taconite were just fired this morning. The move is similar to what Cliffs did in terminating 100 salaried workers at Cliffs mines across the Range, including neighboring Hibbing Taconite, United Taconite in Eveleth and Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay. As mines slow or stop production amid the global iron and steel price drop, eliminating salaried, non-union positions are a quick, relatively easy way for the company to save money.

Most of the affected workers were foremen, according to my source. More on this as it develops.

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