Cleveland-Cliffs Reaches Tentative Agreement With United Steelworkers on New Labor Contract for Michigan and Minnesota Mining Operations
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF), which will be renamed Cliffs Natural Resources in the coming months, today announced a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers (USW), on a new four-year labor contract that will cover approximately 2,300 USW-represented workers at Cliffs’ Empire and Tilden Mines in Michigan, and its United Taconite and Hibbing mines in Minnesota.
Donald J. Gallagher, President North American Business Unit, commented, “We are pleased to reach a new tentative labor contract that is fair and equitable to both parties. Cliffs’ most valuable resource is our employee base, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the USW, which will enable all employees to share in the good fortune resulting from their hard work, and provide us a solid platform for future achievement.”
The agreement replaces the current agreement. As the agreement is pending ratification by USW local union memberships and Cliffs’ Board of Directors, no additional details will be released at this time.
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Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is an international mining company, the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America and a major supplier of metallurgical coal to the global steelmaking industry. The Company operates six iron ore mines in Michigan, Minnesota and Eastern Canada, and three coking coal mines in West Virginia and Alabama. Cliffs also owns 85% of Portman Limited, a large iron ore mining company in Australia, serving the Asian iron ore markets with direct-shipping fines and lump ore. In addition, the Company has a 30% interest in the Amapa Project, a Brazilian iron ore project, and a 45% economic interest in the Sonoma Project, an Australian coking and thermal coal project.
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“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
A number of the matters discussed in this document that are not historical or current facts deal with potential future circumstances and developments, in particular, information regarding a new labor agreement, operating and financial data, the company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and whether and when the labor agreement will be consummated. The discussion of such matters is qualified by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally, and also may materially differ from actual future experience involving any one or more of such matters. Such risks and uncertainties include: the risk that a work stoppage may occur and the company’s contingency plans are not implemented successfully; the risk that the transactions contemplated by the merger of Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha may not be completed or the cost savings and any other synergies from the merger may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; changes in demand for iron ore pellets by integrated steel producers, or changes in iron ore demand due to changes in steel utilization rates, operational factors, electric furnace production or imports into the United States and Canada of semi-finished steel or pig iron; the impact of consolidation and rationalization in the steel industry; timing of changes in customer inventories; changes in, renewal of and acquiring new long-term supply arrangements; inherent risks of mining beyond the combined company’s control; environmental laws, including those directly affecting mining production, and those affecting customers’ coal usage; competition in coal and iron ore markets; railroad, barge, truck and other transportation performance and costs; the geological characteristics of reserves; availability of mining and processing equipment and parts; the combined company’s assumptions concerning economically recoverable coal reserve estimates; disruption from the potential work stoppage and transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; the failure to obtain governmental approvals of the transaction on the proposed terms and schedule, and any conditions imposed on the combined company in connection with consummation of the merger; the failure to obtain approval of the merger by the stockholders of Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha and the failure to satisfy various other conditions to the closing of the merger contemplated by the merger agreement; and the risks that are described from time to time in Cleveland-Cliffs’ and Alpha’s respective reports filed with the SEC, including each of Cleveland-Cliffs’ and Alpha’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2008 and June 30, 2008, as such reports may have been amended. This document speaks only as of its date, and Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha each disclaims any duty to update the information herein.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed transaction, a registration statement on Form S-4 will be filed with the SEC. CLEVELAND-CLIFFS AND ALPHA SHAREHOLDERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, INCLUDING THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS THAT WILL BE PART OF THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED MERGER. The final joint proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to shareholders of Cleveland-Cliffs and shareholders of Alpha. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain the documents free of charge at the SEC’s web site, www.sec.gov, from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, Investor Relations, 1100 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114-2544, or call (216) 694-5700, or from Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., One Alpha Place, P.O. Box 2345, Abingdon, Virginia 24212, attention: Investor Relations, or call (276) 619-4410.
Participants In Solicitation
Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha and their respective directors and executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed merger. Information concerning Cleveland-Cliffs’ participants is set forth in the proxy statement dated March 26, 2008, for Cleveland-Cliffs’ 2008 annual meeting of shareholders as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Information concerning Alpha’s participants is set forth in the proxy statement, dated April 2, 2008, for Alpha’s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Additional information regarding the interests of participants of Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed merger will be included in the registration statement and joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available.