THE LATEST NEWS out of Cliffs Natural Resources is bad and it might get worse.
Cliffs Public Affairs Director Dale Hemmila, who served the company for 36 years, is out. He was informed that his job was being eliminated last Thursday morning. He was gone by Thursday afternoon.
Thank you and goodbye.
Hemmila, a supremely classy professional, has no hard feelings. He says there was never a day in the last three and a half decades when he didn’t look forward to going to work.
He admits he didn’t see the termination coming. Five other people in his Public Affairs department had been let go in recent months but he assumed he would stay. Cliffs needs someone–at least one person–to deal with public affairs, right?
He has no idea who will take on those responsibilities from now on.
More ominous now is what will happen to all the yearly contributions Cliffs has been making in the U.P. The mining company has been a very generous corporate donor, and part of Hemmila’s job was to help direct and oversee those donations.
Will those contributions be slashed? The new managers of Cliffs, who conducted a hostile takeover of the company last year, have given every indication they want to cut, cut, cut.
Public affairs is expendable. A fair guess is that corporate contributions and community outreach are as well.
You know what? We oughta check with Cliffs to see what their plans are. Let’s see now…Who should we call? Uh….well…Let’s give Public Affairs a call and see…Oh, wait, there is no Public Affairs department.
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