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Thanks Joe Biden. US Steel idles steelmaking at Granite City plant indefinitely, will likely lead to 1,000 layoffs.

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US Steel idles steelmaking at Granite City plant indefinitely, will likely lead to 1,000 layoffs. This was the location that opened under Donald Trump back in 2018.

Sam Clancy.

GRANITE CITY, Ill. — U.S. Steel announced it would be idling steelmaking at the Granite City Works plant indefinitely.

Workers learned of the decision in an email from U.S. Steel Senior Vice President & Chief Manufacturing Officer Scott Buckiso that was sent out Tuesday morning. As part of the decision, U.S. Steel issued approximately 1,000 employees a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice that they might be laid off and said they anticipated about 60 percent of those workers would likely lose their jobs.

The WARN Act requires most employers with more than 100 employees to provide notice 60 days in advance of planned closings and mass layoffs.

United Steelworkers Local 1899 President Dan Simmons said the email was the official announcement of something the union knew was coming.

The move comes two months after U.S. Steel temporarily idled furnace B in a move it called “risk mitigation” in response to the now-resolved United Auto Workers strike. At the time, Simmons said they weren’t feeling the effects of the United Auto Workers strike and it would take months and more locations going on strike for it to affect them.

In Tuesday’s email, Buckiso said the company could meet demand with other active iron and steelmaking facilities. He said the rolling and finishing lines in Granite City would continue to run using slabs from other facilities.

“They’re claiming there is still some low volume yet, hasn’t increased where they want it to be. But the price of steel is in good shape right now,” Simmons said.

“I don’t see how they can not make the right decision, do the right thing and start us back up at full operation,” he said.

In June of 2022, U.S. Steel told the Pittsburgh Business Times, a sister publication to the St. Louis Business Journal, that it planned to sell two blast furnaces at its big Granite City, Illinois, facility. The company said the sale of the blast furnaces would result in an estimated 550 jobs remaining out of 1,500 at Granite City Works.

As part of the plan, the plant would be sold to a company called SunCoke Energy. SunCoke would use the blast furnaces to produce a type of crude iron called pig iron.

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