Unemployment benefits running out for Northshore Mining employees

[anvplayer video=”5150132″ station=”998130″]

Now that they’ve been laid off for six months, Northshore Mining employees are seeing an end to their unemployment benefits. And it’s coming right during the holidays.

State Senator-elect Grant Hauschild said that he will press to extend Unemployment Insurance benefits for workers laid off because of Northshore Mining’s ongoing idling when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

“My goal is to retroactively pay these workers the extension they need,” he told us. “Despite some of us being new leaders, we are going to be ready go go on Day 1.”

Hauschild said State Representative Rob Ecklund introduced a bill in August to extend the Unemployment Insurance benefits if a Special Legislative Session were to be called this fall. The measure was supported by State Representative Dave Lislegard, who plans to press similar legislation in the House of Representatives in January.

“We owe it to these workers and their families to help with this hardship,” Rep. Lislegard said. “Let’s do the right thing for the people of northern Minnesota.”

“Learning that Northshore Mining will be shut down well into 2023 means workers and their families in our region will face an uncertain economic future through no fault of their own,” said Rep. Ecklund.

Hauschild’s legislation would provide up to 26 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to approximately 410 iron ore mining industry workers who will be impacted when their benefits are exhausted later this month.

Those who work for firms providing goods or services to the iron ore mining industry and lost their jobs because of the idling would also be eligible. 

Mine owner Cleveland-Cliffs idled the plant and mine in the spring, and said they will remain shutdown until at least April 2023. They do not need as a many pellets, due to their purchase of a scrap metal company.