From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE – Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan says an ongoing, uncertain industry environment continues to weigh on local steel operations, and the county will do what it can to help in the wake of a new threat to jobs at U.S. Steel in Granite City.
The chairman released a statement this morning regarding the announcement by the U.S. Steel Corp. on the potential idling of the Granite City Works. Some 2,000 jobs are subject to layoff, the firm has said.
“Last April, when the U.S. Steel Corp. announced it would not be idling the Granite City Steel Works as was previously announced, I shared the belief of other officials and community leaders that we had averted a situation that would have negatively impacted thousands of families and the economy of Madison County,” Dunstan’s statement said.
“Unfortunately, the business environment that existed when U.S. Steel first considered idling the Granite City Steel Works has not changed. Unfair trade practices, fluctuating oil prices and inferior steel imported from South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and elsewhere have put our country’s steel producing companies – and our hard-working, skilled steel workers – at a distinct disadvantage and have taken us to where we are today, the possibility of the plant’s closing and another devastating blow to the men and women employed at the plant, the thousands of people employed at satellite businesses, and their families.
“While we hope the idling of the Granite City Steel Works can again be averted, if the plant is idled Madison County will do everything possible to assist the affected workers. As this situation unfolds, I will join with Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer, our representatives in Congress and our U.S. senators in the continued attempt to level the playing field for the United States’ steel industry.
“This announcement comes at a time following several years of steady economic growth in Madison County and the creation of thousands of new jobs. At the same time we are working to ensure the long-term viability of the Granite City Steel Works, we must continue to focus on economic development in Madison County, the creation of new jobs and an environment where new businesses want to locate and existing businesses can grow and prosper,” the statement concluded.