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Union Supported Mining Bill That Would Have Expedited a 3,000-Job Mine Project Dies in Wisconsin Senate

Recently, five Labor Unions announced their support for proposed changes in Wisconsin which would streamline the process for getting a permit to start iron ore mining. The announcement came on the heels of a memorandum of understanding signed by Gogebic Taconite LLC that would ensure union labor during construction of an iron ore mine expected to create 3,000 construction jobs.

According to Tim Sullivan, chairman of the Wisconsin Mining Association,

“This is a significant step forward for workers, job creation and the future of mining in Wisconsin. We are pleased that these labor trade organizations, representing union workers from all across Wisconsin, were able to move beyond traditional partisan politics and support a plan that will create thousands of family-supporting jobs and help invigorate Wisconsin’s economy.”

But yesterday, Gogebic Taconite pulled the plug on the project when the new mining bill died in the Wisconsin state Senate:

A controversial proposal to develop an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin is now dead as Gogebic Taconite announced it is ending plans to invest in Wisconsin mining after the Wisconsin State Senate Tuesday rejected proposed mine permitting reforms.

Gogebic Taconite wanted to open an iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills south of Lake Superior. However, the company refused to build the mine until the state legislature would set a deadline in the state’s permitting process, among other reforms.

The bill was in the interesting position of having the support of both Scott Walker and some labor unions.


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