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Dunstan, Steelworkers’ officials meet with Durbin on plant idling, industry issues


From Illinois Business Jounal news services

EDWARDSVILLE – Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan continued to press the case for the U.S. steel industry  in a meeting with U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin at the United Steelworkers’ Labor Temple in Granite City.

Dunstan, along with Madison County Circuit Clerk Mark Von Nida, Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer and United Steelworker officials Dan Simmons (president, Local 1899) and Jason Chism president, Local 50), addressed the impact the idling of Granite City Steel is having on the mill’s employees, workers employed at businesses which service the mill, and their families.

“The idling of Granite City Steel not only impacts thousands of people, but negatively impacts businesses throughout Madison County,” Dunstan told Durbin. “Your support of the U.S. steel industry, and of the men and women employed at Granite City Steel, has made a difference but we still need your help.”

Chism echoed Dunstan’s comments. “Your (Durbin’s) support, the support of other members of our congressional delegation and the work of the International Trade Commission is helping, it is making a difference.”

In response to a question from Sen. Durbin on the impact of the tariffs imposed on foreign steel manufacturers as a result of illegal trade practices, Simmons replied, “We are seeing steel prices increase, and that’s a good sign for the short-term future of the steel industry,” Simmons replied.

“The more stabilization we see, the better the chance our plant (Granite City Steel) will be reopened.”

Durbin stated he will continue his efforts to ensure a level playing field for the U.S. steel industry and voiced his strong support for the country’s manufacturing segment industry.

In April, Dunstan testified before the International Trade Commission on how the importing of foreign, illegally subsidized steel is negatively impacting the men and women employed at Granite City Steel.

Dunstan, Hagnauer, Simmons and Chism traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this year for meetings on The Hill to address issues impacting the steel industry with U.S. Senators, Congressmen, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission.

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