EVELETH, MN — A tale of two Iron Ranges.
When Vice President Mike Pence visited Duluth some Iron Variety mayors spoke out in assistance of the Trump administration, saying the Iron Variety is “roaring” back.
The United Steelworkers (USW) see issues differently.
“If the Iron Variety is roaring back, I want somebody to go inform that to the more than 300 individuals at Keetac who are laid off, have been laid off,” stated John Arbogast, with United Steelworkers District 11.
“The steel market is not carrying out great the rates are undesirable. The Iron Variety suffers when steel suffers, so that is the reality.”
Although most Iron Variety mines are operating when once more, there are nonetheless almost 300 workers at Keewatin Taconite who do not know when they’ll be back on the job.
“Our greatest 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 overall health, job safety, trade, domestic problems, healthcare,” stated Arbogast.
Primarily based on these problems, the union endorsed Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, for President of the United States.
Arbogast stated some members weren’t pleased with the endorsement of Biden but, eventually, he stated their concentrate is on guarding workers’ rights.
“We really feel that some of the issues that have occurred with the National Labor Relations Board and some of the attacks on our collective bargaining rights, these issues are vital to us, they ought to be vital to the members. I get exactly where they are at with some of the environmental problems and why they really feel the democratic celebration has left them, but we respect their views, that is for certain.”
As for an outlook for the market, Arbogast stated it is really hard to say with the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to handle the virus ahead of the economy can get far better and till we do that I feel we’re just going to remain ideal at this level.”
Arbogast told CBS three the United Steelworkers have a method in how they pick candidates to endorse. It starts with a survey which asks the candidates exactly where they stand on problems vital to the union.
Arbogast stated the steelworkers received the survey back from democratic candidate Joe Biden but did not get a response from President Trump.
He added the steelworkers felt candidate Biden aligned with their priorities such as workers’ ideal and collective bargaining.