United Steelworkers (USW) and U.S. Steel negotiators are returning to the bargaining table in an effort to reach an agreement on a new labor contract, according to USW.

Leaders from USW locals across the nation will meet again with U.S. Steel officials in Pittsburgh this week for face-to-face discussions. Significant progress has been made on some issues during the past week in discussions between a USW and U.S. Steel bargaining committee, including the terms of an agreement and some benefit proposals, USW confirmed.

“It sounds like things are starting to move again, so we're going to go out there again and see what we can do,” said the president of USW Local 2660 at Keetac in Keewatin, Cliff Tobey.

The president of USW Local 1938 at Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron, John Arbogast concurred. “It sounds like there’s some significant progress. It sounds encouraging.”

Negotiations to reach a new contract began in July, while the labor contract between USW and U.S. Steel expired Sept. 1. USW members are continuing to work under a contract extension.

More than 16,000 USW-represented workers at U.S. Steel facilities across the nation are affected by the negotiations. In northeastern Minnesota, about 1,550 USW members work at Minntac and Keetac.

ArcelorMittal and United Steelworkers negotiators are also returning to talks in an effort to reach a new labor agreement, according to a USW.

On the Iron Range, about 304 employees work at ArcelorMittal Minorca in Virginia.