Friday Labor Update
Posted at: 08/31/2012 7:12 AM
| Updated at: 08/31/2012 10:45 PM
Some better news Friday morning for ArcelorMittal steelworkers waiting for word on a new contract.
The bargaining committee said that the company took some steps forward, including backing off of their demand for no pension for new hires. But the sides do remain far apart.
The union has also notified the company they will do whatever they can to preserve their coke operations, to keep the plants from being damaged if there is a strike.
Minorca Mine union leaders say that steelworkers should continue reporting to work, until they are locked out or until they receive other notice from the union.
There are no plans as of Friday afternoon to take a strike vote. In fact, the bargaining team has agreed that it's the best course of action to continue working during negotiations.
The bargaining team said that they are not taking the strike option off the table, however.
There is no contract extension signed for ArcelorMittal as of Friday night.
The contract expires at 11:59 pm, on September 1st.
As for Cliffs Natural Resources and US Steel employees, their deadline is midnight Saturday morning. But they have an extension in place, to keep people working.
U.S. Steel is still in the middle of talks, but all of those workers are being told to keep reporting to work until you're told otherwise.
This anxiety filled time affects other business on the Range. One banking leader in the Hibbing area said consumer lending is down this year, with people likely putting off big purchases.
Mayors of Range cities told us they are optimistic that new deals will be reached.