Mesabi Nugget workers vote against forming a union

AURORA, Minn. (AP) — Employees of the Mesabi Nugget plant near Aurora have voted overwhelmingly not to form a union.

A vote was held in recent days, and workers voted 57-21 not to unionize.

United Steelworkers District 11 organizer Jerry Perpich acknowledges that the outcome was “a little embarrassing.”

The Steelworkers represent workers at nearly every taconite plant on the Range. Perpich says the Steelworkers usually respond when someone calls to request a unionization drive.

Mesabi Nugget general manager Jeff Hansen says the company respects employees’ right to have a vote.

A Mesabi Daily News report says an entry-level worker starting at the nugget plant makes about $50,000 in annual salary. An average hourly employee makes $70,000 to $75,000 per year in wages, not including benefits.