With our current contract set to expire on October 1, our bargaining committees are getting ready to head to the bargaining table. USW District 11 Director Emil Ramirez who chairs negotiations with Cliffs and Assistant to the Director John Reborvich have been in communications with Cliffs Management to discuss ground rules
for the upcoming contract negotiations.

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The Negaunee Pioneer Days parade is Saturday at 10:30 A.M.

Ask a parade official for line up location for the USW float.

Parade starts at 11:30 A.M.

Click HERE for a map (scroll to the bottom for the map).

Hope to see you there!!

Stand Up for a Fair Contract

Our current contract with Cliffs Natural Resources is set to expire on October 1, 2015 and contract negotiations are just around the corner. The committees of Local 4974 and 4950 have been preparing for the upcoming round of negotiations. We expect local issue bargaining to begin in Michigan in August, with Top Table bargaining committees arriving in Pittsburgh, PA on September 8th. Your committee is currently scheduled to remain there bargaining until the contract expiration.

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The Economic Displacement Committee has scheduled informational meetings at Ronn Hall, 1206 Baldwin Avenue, Negaunee MI. for employees going to layoff. The dates and times are:

Monday 06 July 2015 8:00 A.M.
Monday 13 July 2015 8:00 A.M.
Information will be presented on the following topics:

There will be representatives from the Human Relations Department and both Local Unions available to answer questions along with representatives from the above listed agencies.
Computers and assistance will be available for you to file your unemployment claim. Please bring the following information if you plan on filing:

A personal email address (if you do not have one we can assist in signing up for one)
Drivers License
Bank routing number and account number (direct deposit is highly recommended)


Just added a new feature to the site. If you look at the top of the page there’s a new link called “REPORT”. If you click on it you’ll be taken to a page whereby you  can fill out a short form and let us know about all the stoopid shit that’s going on out at the mine (the grate for example). It’s use is to inform your union officials and keep a running log of everyone’s complaints/thoughts/ideas/bitches and so on. It will only be accessed by union officials and management will never have access to it!! So go ahead… bitch away!!

Please try to be there and also the Pioneer Days parade in Negaunee for which I’ll put information out later this week. It’s important for us to show solidarność (Solidarity)!!!!

We line up on Park Street so I THINK we’ll be one of the first ones to go through, which gives us time to go somewhere else and watch the parade or do whatever. Please try to make it, even if you’re on layoff. And yet another free T-Shirt will be handed out to everyone that marches.

This PDF file is sideways so don’t worry if you’ve had a few adult beverages, it’s NOT you!!

Ishpeming 4th of July Parade

Since 1979, American workers’ productivity has increased over 80 percent. In that same time, the average income of the top one percent has increased more than 240 percent. If the median household income had kept pace with the economy, it would now be nearly $92,000. It’s currently $50,000. The fundamental purpose of a union is to balance the overwhelming power of those who are reaping all those gains in our economy with those who are creating those gains. Far from seeking to undermine the success of those at the top, unions simply insist that that success be shared.

Unions also matter because they’re good for business. In “The Good Jobs Strategy,” Zeynep Ton, a business professor at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, argues convincingly that “Even the most coldhearted, money-hungry capitalists ought to realize that increasing their work force, and both paying them and treating them better, will often yield happier customers, more engaged workers and — surprisingly — larger corporate profits,” as Adam Davidson reported recently in New York Times.

It’s not surprising to see that where there is worker solidarity there’s better pay: median yearly earnings of union members are $47,684 while non-union members’ median earnings are $37,284. However, you don’t have to be a union member to see the results. Western and Rosenfeld’s study on income inequality in the American Sociological Review highlights that in areas where unions are present, even non-union job wages are higher. Or, as historian Kim Phillips-Fein puts it, “The strength of unions in postwar America had a profound impact on all people who worked for a living, even those who did not belong to a union themselves.”

Injustice and inequality are still very much here. That’s why the tent is opening to new models, from worker centers to Working America. Unions need the next generation to understand the important and transformative role that unions have played in the modern economy, because the next generation of workers possesses the skills to keep wage fairness alive. Unions matter, and it matters that we learn how much they still do.

This is from the July 2004 contract negotiations. Simply amazing.