Members of the United Steelworkers union have ratified a new, four-year contract with Ohio-based steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF). The contract covers more than 12,000 steel workers at 13 locations, including East Chicago, Gary and Burns Harbor.
The union says the contract raises base wages by 20%, improves insurance benefits for active and retired workers, increases pensions, improves vacation provisions, and adds an additional holiday.
The contract also has new provisions of parental paid leave and for employees who are victims of domestic violence.
“Our negotiating committee is proud that we won a fair contract that improves the standard of living for thousands of USW members and their families now and in the future,” USW International President Tom Conway said in written remarks. “Cliffs’ commitment to lead the steel industry and partner with the USW includes a plan to invest $4 billion in its USW facilities during the contract term that will improve production, create sustainable jobs for future generations of Steelworkers and ensure success for the company.”
The starting date of the contract is Sept. 1, 2022. Cliffs says with the new contract, along with a previously-ratified agreement covering some 2,000 USW workers at the company’s mining and pelletizing operations, it has concluded the renegotiating cycle until September 2026.
“Our workforce has made these past two years possible, including navigating a monumental transformation and growth, overcoming the challenges of a pandemic, and adapting to an ever-changing business climate,” CEO Lourenco Goncalves said. “Going forward, we will continue to promote our employees’ well-being as the basis of our success, for the benefit of our clients and our long-term shareholders.”
Meanwhile, the union remains in negotiations with U.S. Steel, which also has major operations in northwest Indiana. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana reported this week the union is seeking a similar 20% pay increase as opposed to the 15% increase offered by U.S. Steel.
Union workers rallied in Hobart on Tuesday as U.S. Steel CEO David Burrett spoke to the local chapter of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology.