Duluth News Tribune reported that when top US Steel officials descended on the Keetac iron ore mine and pellet processing plant on 5 October to celebrate starting construction on a USD 150 million direct-reduced-grade iron pellet plant, United Steelworkers declined to participate and gathered at the intersection outside the union hall in downtown Keewatin and along the road to Keetac, with some signs reading FDB or Fair Deal Burritt.USW District 11 staff representative Mr John Arbogast said “The union was invited to participate in Wednesday’s event but chose not to. It is sad US Steel planned this celebration when we’re in the middle of a contract war. We are so far apart from where Cliffs is, with our pattern that’s been established, we’re not even close, we’re miles apart on wages, pensions, health care, holidays, we got to get what Cliffs got.”A sign of the tense negotiations, US Steel last week filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging USW was failing to bargain and Union Local presidents are headed to Pittsburgh to resume negotiations on 6 October as the current contract has been extended since 30 August.The other iron mining company on the Iron Range, Cleveland-Cliffs, has already wrapped up negotiations with USW. The contract with Cliffs is being held up by USW as the example for US Steel to follow, a 20% raise over the contract’s four-year term and USD 4 billion in USW-represented facilities during the contract. The Cliffs contract also got a sixth week of vacation, parental leave for both parents, recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday and language for victims of domestic abuse.