USW to Hold Meetings to Discuss Retiree Health Care Costs at Cliffs

Company Warns Seniors of Substantial Premium Increases for 2016

Dec 08, 2015, 10:56 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

NEGAUNEE, Mich., Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union will meet this week with retired workers from two Cliffs Natural Resources' mines in the Upper Peninsula to discuss the union's response to the company's recent warnings of significant increases in health care premiums for retired members and their families.

Cliffs, which runs Tilden Mining in Ishpeming, Mich., and Empire Mining in Palmer, Mich., mailed letters to its USW retirees and their families in November warning of substantial increases in health care premiums for the coming year. The USW, which is still in the process of negotiating a new contract with Cliffs, believes the rates that the company quoted in its letter are incorrect and has attempted to address this disagreement with the company without success.

"Unfortunately, Cliffs seems determined to force substantial cost increases onto the backs of its retirees rather than seeking a compromise that works for both sides," said USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton. "We understand that this is a difficult time for our industry, but causing harm to senior citizens who have worked hard their whole lives is not the answer to this crisis."

WHAT: Meeting for retired members of USW Local 4950 and USW Local 4974

WHEN: 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 9

WHERE: 1206 Baldwin Ave, Negaunee, Mich. 49866

NOTE: Interview and photo opportunities will be available

USW District 2 represents more than 35,000 members in Michigan and Wisconsin. The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments.

CONTACT: R.J. Hufnagel, (412) 562-2450,                                                                     

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)