From Illinois Business Journal news services
WASHINGTON – Calling Granite City Works “a source of pride” for its employees and the Metro East, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, today asked U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi to work with local labor leaders and the community to minimize the impact of U.S. Steel’s decision to idle operations at Granite City Works and to re-open the steel plant as soon as possible.
Durbin also wrote to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez seeking federal resources for displaced steel workers from Granite City. Since U.S. Steel’s announcement, Durbin has been in contact with Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer and Steelworkers Union Local 1899 President Dan Simmons to offer his support.
In his letter to Longhi, Durbin wrote: “I understand this is a business decision, and those decisions cannot be easy. However, I encourage you to work with the Steelworkers Union Local 1899 to ensure displaced workers have every opportunity for relocation where appropriate, re-training where necessary, and whatever assistance is possible during this difficult time. I stand ready to do what I can to help keep Granite City Works operating and its employees working.”
U.S. Steel announced Wednesday that it would idle Granite City Works on May 28 as part of the company’s consolidation of its North American Flat-Rolled operations. Approximately 2,080 workers will be impacted by the decision.