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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 8, 2018, 5:39 pm 
Guest wrote:
I remember seeing all the Inland ships loading in Thunder bay!


Inland Steel ships were relatively common visitors to Thunder Bay to load from ore the Caland Ore Company until its closure in 1980. There is an account of this operation in "The Inland Steel Fleet 1911-1998" book.


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 8, 2018, 12:41 pm 
I remember seeing all the Inland ships loading in Thunder bay!


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 8, 2018, 10:26 am 
Guest wrote:
Guest wrote:
If memory serves me correctly, 13,000 workers were employed in the Minnesota and Michigan iron ore ranges at the time. By the early 80s, their numbers began to decline as marginal taconite plants and mines were shut down.


Did the miners have their demands met or did they accept concessions ? Was the strike worthwhile to them in the long run ?


The mining industry has lost approx. 8000 workers over the yrs. since the strike. I'd say "No" it wasn't worthwhile.


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 10:16 pm 

Joined: March 13, 2010, 10:51 am
Posts: 1058
The primary issue was the miners receiving compensation on par with the mill workers in the same union. Other issues were involved, though, including miners' resentment over the USW's previous "no strike" agreement and animosity that lingered from a contentious union presidential election. As expected, a great deal of (more expensive) Canadian ore came in, on both American and Canadian bottoms. The mills had a sufficient stockpile, but would buy ore when available. As the strike lingered into mid-December (locals had to vote independently on a contract), more and more vessels laid up, but as more settled, more vessels came on line to replenish ore stores in December. Railroad and dock employees were furloughed during that very long strike, which led to some very hard economic times in iron range.


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 10:16 pm 
Guest wrote:
If memory serves me correctly, 13,000 workers were employed in the Minnesota and Michigan iron ore ranges at the time. By the early 80s, their numbers began to decline as marginal taconite plants and mines were shut down.


Did the miners have their demands met or did they accept concessions ? Was the strike worthwhile to them in the long run ?


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 9:05 pm 
The stockpiles of ore pellets and natural iron ore were drawn down during the late summer and early fall. I'm not sure if the railroaders that hauled the iron ore to the docks and the dock workers were part of the same union as the miners and if they weren't, if they honoured the striking miners picket lines. I would think they would have.

This is the reason for those American Seaway-size lakers going down to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to pick up iron ore pellets.

The ore pellets being moved from Picton, Ontario to Lake Erie ports were produced at Bethlehem Steel's Marmora Mine (Marmora, Ontario).

The thousand footers at the time (Stewart J. Cort, Presque Isle, James R. Barker, and Mesabi Miner) would have been laidup shortly after the start of the strike. The Belle River (now Walter J. McCarthy) entered service in late August of 1977 and, of course, was dedicated to the Western Coal trade for Detroit Edison as was the St. Clair. So they weren't affected.

If memory serves me correctly, 13,000 workers were employed in the Minnesota and Michigan iron ore ranges at the time. By the early 80s, their numbers began to decline as marginal taconite plants and mines were shut down.


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 6:28 pm 
Guest wrote:
The ore miners strike started August 1, 1977 and lasted until late November for some taconite pkants. Cleveland-Cliffs miners voted on the contract around December 16, 1977. Many ships were laidup shortly after the strike began while others such as William R. Roesch and Paul Thayer loaded iron ore pellets at Picton, Ontario for ports on Lake Erie. George M. Humphrey, Paul H. Carnahan, Leon Falk, Jr, Joseph H. Thompson, William Clay Ford and John Dykstra loaded iron ore at Sept Isle, Quebec and other Gulf of St. Lawrence ports.


Thanks for the info. Why didn't the docks continue to load from stockpiles ?


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 5:11 pm 
I went on vacation late July from the Clarke and by the time I got back the strike had started. The trip or two before I got back from vacation the Clarke started hauling stone from Calcite to Gary. I went back on board in Gary as she was unloading stone and we then made probably 3-4 more trips from Calcite to Gary, then laid up at Jones Island. I had put in for "winter relief" which was if the boat was going to run like after the 15th or 20th of December you could get off if there was a qualified replacement. I didn't go back until fit-out at Jones Island until the following spring. The only time in 8 yrs. on the Clarke that we hauled stone.


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 Post subject: Re: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 1:14 pm 
The ore miners strike started August 1, 1977 and lasted until late November for some taconite pkants. Cleveland-Cliffs miners voted on the contract around December 16, 1977. Many ships were laidup shortly after the strike began while others such as William R. Roesch and Paul Thayer loaded iron ore pellets at Picton, Ontario for ports on Lake Erie. George M. Humphrey, Paul H. Carnahan, Leon Falk, Jr, Joseph H. Thompson, William Clay Ford and John Dykstra loaded iron ore at Sept Isle, Quebec and other Gulf of St. Lawrence ports.


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 Post subject: Ore miners strike of 1977
Unread postPosted: February 6, 2018, 11:40 pm 
I can't much info on the internet on this topic. When did it start and how long did it last ? Did boats layup as soon as it started or did they continue to load from stockpiles at the loading docks ? Did any steel mills have to idle blast furnaces due to lack of ore ? And finally, was it a successful strike for the union ? TIA


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