United States Steel Readies to Refire Idled Facilities at Granite City, Illinois, Plant
The company anticipates calling back approximately 500 employees beginning this month. The restart process could take up to four months. According to company officials, the additional capacity will support anticipated increased demand for steel in the United States as a result of President Donald J. Trump imposing tariffs on foreign imports.
Both Granite City Works blast furnaces and its steelmaking facilities were idled in December 2015 and the plant’s hot strip mill was idled in January 2016 in response to challenging market conditions, including global excess steel capacity and unfairly traded imports, U.S. Steel officials said.
The pickle line, cold mill and finishing lines at Granite City Works continued to operate in line with customer demand. The hot strip mill was restarted in February 2017 as the company adjusted its hot strip mill operating configuration to meet customer needs after deciding to accelerate the pace of its asset revitalization efforts. Granite City's “A” blast furnace remains idled, the company explained.
“Our Granite City Works facility and employees, as well as the surrounding community, have suffered too long from the unending waves of unfairly traded steel products that have flooded U.S. markets,” said U. S. Steel President & CEO David B. Burritt.
“We’ve worked closely and cooperatively with leadership of the United Steelworkers to develop a plan that will help us work through the restart process in the safest, most efficient manner possible while enabling longer-term collaboration designed to improve the plant’s competitiveness,” Burritt said.
“The Section 232 action announced by President Trump last week recognizes the significant threat steel imports pose to our national and economic security. The President’s strong leadership is needed to begin to level the playing field so companies like ours can compete, win and create jobs that support our employees and the communities in which we operate as well as strengthen our national and economic security,” he said. “ We will continue to support our customers with the high-quality products they have come to expect from U. S. Steel.”
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