From Illinois Business Journal news services
United States Steel Corp. announced today it is temporarily idling its Granite City Works steelmaking and finishing operations.
The idling has been anticipated for several weeks in the wake of market conditions. In early October the company said it was exploring the options and that idling was among them. It said at the time that potential layoff notices were going to about 2,000 workers.
The idling is part of an ongoing adjustment of steelmaking operations throughout North America to match customer demand, the company said. As the primary flat-roll supplier of the oil and gas industry, the company routinely adjusts production at its operating facilities to reflect market fluctuations.
“This is a result of continued challenging global market conditions including fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts and associated inventory overhang, depressed steel prices and unfairly traded imports, which continue to have a significant impact on the business,” the company said.
The company will be working closely with its customers through the transition, the statement said.
The company will continue to operate its steelmaking operations in Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania as well some finishing operations in Alabama.
Granite City Works employees were issued notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act on Oct. 8.
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, in whose 112th Congressional District the sprawling steel complex is located, issued a statement Monday afternoon.
“My heart goes out to these hardworking men and women and their families as they receive this news right before the holidays. The company informed me the idling will be temporary. Nevertheless, I’m going to do all I can to make sure that ‘temporary’ is as short as possible. I will continue to be in communication with our steelworkers and the company to offer my assistance during this time of uncertainty,” Bost said.