Cliffs warns iron ore output cuts could drive job losses

Nov 07, 2008 | 11:00 AM | Mick Bowen

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has warned union officials and local government that lower output could force it to cut jobs at some of its mines.

A drop in production could lead to more than 50 layoffs at Cliffs' Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan and the Hibbing Taconite and United Taconite mines in Minnesota within the next 60 days, the company said.

Late last month, Cliffs blamed weakening demand for production cuts at two iron ore mines in Minnesota and said it had turned off three small pellet furnaces, including one at United Taconite and two at Northshore Mining Co. (AMM, Oct. 29).

United Steelworkers union Local 6860 and Cliffs subsequently agreed to implement a 32-hour work week at the United Taconite site through the end of January to avoid immediate layoffs.....

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