EVELETH, MN — A tale of two Iron Ranges.
When Vice President Mike Pence visited Duluth some Iron Variety mayors spoke out in help of the Trump administration, saying the Iron Variety is “roaring” back.
The United Steelworkers (USW) see items differently.
“If the Iron Variety is roaring back, I want somebody to go inform that to the more than 300 persons at Keetac who are laid off, have been laid off,” mentioned John Arbogast, with United Steelworkers District 11.
“The steel business is not performing very good the costs are negative. The Iron Variety suffers when steel suffers, so that is the reality.”
When most Iron Variety mines are operating as soon as once again, there are nevertheless practically 300 workers at Keewatin Taconite who do not know when they’ll be back on the job.
“Our most significant concern is our Keetac brothers and sisters. The other mines are operating but appear at U.S. Steel alone. Wonderful Lakes Operates in Michigan is closed permanently, that was 4 to six million tons of pellets that came from the Minntac mine.”
Heading into an election USW has a list of prime priorities.
“Collective bargaining, security, and wellness, job safety, trade, domestic challenges, healthcare,” mentioned Arbogast.
Primarily based on these challenges, the union endorsed Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, for President of the United States.
Arbogast mentioned some members weren’t satisfied with the endorsement of Biden but, eventually, he mentioned their concentrate is on defending workers’ rights.
“We really feel that some of the items that have occurred with the National Labor Relations Board and some of the attacks on our collective bargaining rights, these items are significant to us, they really should be significant to the members. I get exactly where they are at with some of the environmental challenges and why they really feel the democratic celebration has left them, but we respect their views, that is for positive.”
As for an outlook for the business, Arbogast mentioned it is challenging to say with the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to manage the virus just before the economy can get much better and till we do that I feel we’re just going to keep correct at this level.”
Arbogast told CBS three the United Steelworkers have a method in how they decide on candidates to endorse. It starts with a survey which asks the candidates exactly where they stand on challenges significant to the union.
Arbogast mentioned the steelworkers received the survey back from democratic candidate Joe Biden but did not acquire a response from President Trump.
He added the steelworkers felt candidate Biden aligned with their priorities which includes workers’ correct and collective bargaining.