U.S. Steel, union to resume talks this week

The U.S. Steel Corporation and the United Steelworkers resume talks this week in Pittsburgh after a cooling off period. Union officials say the company has made a new offer and that they will review and discuss the offer at these new meetings. The union has said that U.S. Steel has been asking for serious concessions in… Read More →

RAMS hires Dicklich as state lobbyist

The Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) hired former executive director Ron Dicklich as its state lobbyist this past week, according to Bill Hanna in the Mesabi Daily News. You might recall RAMS at the center of a controversy last spring when State. Sen. David Tomassoni was hired to succeed Dicklich as executive direct despite… Read More →

NY Times paints grim picture for Iron Range mines

A business story in yesterday’s New York Times carries this headline: “If It Owns a Well or a Mine, It’s Probably in Trouble.” And since that describes many of the largest businesses on Northern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, we can rightly take warning. Companies that produce commodities — oil, iron, copper or the like —… Read More →

Is this the 1980s again on the Iron Range?

I grew up in the 1980s on a junkyard just a few miles south of Eveleth Taconite. Growing up on a junkyard is probably the best way to understand the things humans build, sell, use and discard. So let’s consider a new car. I’ve only ever bought one brand new car fresh off the lot. It… Read More →

IRRRB to discuss $26 million biochemical project in Mt. Iron

Friday, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board will meet to discuss new projects and public works spending. A number of interesting items will be on the docket. Topping the list is a proposal to loan $18 million as part of a state and Iron Range package of $26 million to a company called Sweetwater Energy. Sweetwater is… Read More →

U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal back to table with Steelworkers

Next Monday U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal will resume negotiations with the United Steelworkers of America over labor contracts at Mesabi Iron Range mines. Cliffs Natural Resources is also negotiating with Steelworkers over contracts at its mines. All of the Minnesota’s 4,500-some miners are affected by these talks. U.S. Steel took a break from talks nine days ago to allow… Read More →

U.S. Steel, union ‘taking break’ from heated negotiations

Following news of ArcelorMittal walking away from the table in union negotiations late last week, U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers have announced a more amicable “break” in negotiations with a scheduled resumption in two weeks. Nevertheless, serious differences remain in a year in which mining companies are asking for concessions from the union amid… Read More →

Maid on the Iron Range: 11th Housekeeper Olympics today

Today in Mountain Iron, hotel housekeepers from around the Iron Range will compete for fun, pride and barbecued food in the 11th annual Iron Range Housekeeper Olympics. The event takes the everyday tasks of hotel staffers and turns them into sport. I suppose this could be considered the latter-day equivalent of the old logging competitions… Read More →

Highway 53 to the Danger Zone

Right now preparations are underway to reroute Highway 53, Northeastern Minnesota’s north-south corridor, to accommodate a nearly 50-year-old agreement with mining interests. The Cliffs-run United Taconite has put in notice that it wants to mine the area under the current highway, requiring a new one. Engineers say the new Highway 53 will track further east out… Read More →

Another closed blast furnace a warning to Range mines

On Monday, U.S. Steel announced plans to close a steelmaking facility in Alabama and its accompanying blast furnace. The company said its goal is to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in its production. More than 1,100 workers are affected by this closure. From a U.S. Steel press release: “We have made some difficult decisions over the last… Read More →