First day that Northshore Mining employees are part of Local 1955

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Workers at Northshore Mining have ratified their first contract with Cleveland-Cliffs.

It’s a 3-year agreement that includes a lump sum bonus, annual wage increases, enhanced protections for job security and improvements in occupational health and safety.

Employees are now considered part of Local 1955, which is the year that Reserve Mining, now Northshore, started operating.

Jason Curtis, who has been working on this transition, told WDIO on Friday that the majority of people are excited to have union backing now. The year-long shutdown was hard on folks.

“It was important for us to keep some things the same, and the company was more than willing to work with us. We just have more security now, and we know what’s coming ahead. No more guessing, when it comes to raises, for example,” Curtis said.

They will be working with the USW on things like officer elections and where the union hall will be.

John Arbogast, staff representative for USW District 11, told us, “It’s been very rewarding, because the folks in Babbitt and Silver Bay came to us. It’s really exciting to be able to teach them all about the responsibilities.”

The USW also represents approximately 2,000 workers at four other Cliffs mining facilities in Minnesota and northern Michigan. Northshore Mining was the last remaining taconite mine on Minnesota’s Iron Range without a union.

Cliffs sent out a statement saying that the agreement covers about 430 people at Northshore.