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U.S. Steel to “adjust production” at Minntac operation

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Thursday U.S. Steel filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice.

In the filing, the company stated it plans to temporarily idle a number of blast furnaces due to the impacts of COVID-19.

As a result of reduced blast furnace production, U.S. Steel said it will indefinitely idle iron ore production at Keetac. The mine in Keewatin announced a planned outage for late-May earlier this month.

The company also said it will "adjust production at its Minntac operations in line with the blast furnace idlings," but didn't provide any further detail on what the adjustments would be.

CBS 3 spoke to Steve Bonach, union president for USW Local 1938 representing MInntac employees. He said as of Thursday he had not heard of any employee impact at the Mt. Iron, MN operation.

A spokesperson for U.S. Steel told CBS 3 the WARN notices apply to employees accounted for at both Minnesota facilities, while the impact was targeted for Keetac.

According to the document filed, the corporation has issued or plans to issue WARN notices to approximately 6,500 employees. U.S. Steel estimates the actual number of employees affected will be closer to 2,700.

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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