Update: Cliffs and Steelworkers Take a Break From Negotiations

By KBJR News 1

September 1, 2012 Updated Sep 1, 2012 at 9:16 PM CDT

(Northland's NewsCenter) --- Cliffs Natural Resources and the United Steelworkers Union have agreed to take a break from labor contract negotiations for the weekend.

Meanwhile, mining operations continue at the Hibbing and United Taconite mines on the Iron Range.

The contracts for more than 2-thousand union workers at the Cliffs' mines as well as the Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan expired yesterday at midnight.

Today’s decision comes after a short-term contract extension was made between the parties Friday night.

This short-term agreement confirms that until a new contract is established the union won't strike and the company won't lock workers out without giving the other party written notice 48 hours in advance.

U.S. Steel and Arcelor Mittal also continue negotiations in Pittsburgh.

Contracts expire Saturday, at 11:59.

On Friday, union leaders said they are not planning an immediate strike, even if a deal is not reached before the contract deadline.