HOYT LAKES (AP) -- Union officials have filed a grievance against LTV Steel Corp., claiming the company that plans to lay off 1,400 workers next year violated its union contract by agreeing to buy taconite pellets from another company.
LTV Steel Corp. plans to close LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes next summer.
But the company will still need taconite pellets, and it has agreed to buy 50 million tons of the pellets over 10 years from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. instead of getting them from its Hoyt Lakes plant.
Most of those pellets are to come from Cleveland-Cliffs-managed facilities on the Iron Range -- Hibbing Taconite and Northshore Mining Co. Cleveland-Cliffs also manages LTV Steel Mining Co.
Steelworkers said the Hoyt Lakes plant remains capable of supplying its parent company with taconite pellets.
If LTV Steel Corp. buys taconite pellets from Cleveland-Cliffs when its own plant could produce them, that's a violation of a contracting-out clause in the labor contract, union leaders said.
''We're saying LTV is violating our contract and that we can produce quality pellets at LTV,'' said Jerry Fallos, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 4108 in Aurora. ''There's still a lot of quality iron ore there and we can produce a quality pellet.''
Fallos said on Monday that Steelworkers at LTV Steel Mining Co. recently set a single-day record for pellet production and that the pellets were above LTV quality standards.
''We still believe there's a viable plant and we're working hard out there to show it,'' he said.
LTV Steel Corp. officials dismissed the significance of the grievance.
''We believe it is without merit and we will process it expeditiously,'' said company spokesman Mark Tomasch.
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