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U.S. Steel plans to lay off hundreds of workers in Michigan

Stock MarketsAug 20, 2019 08:36AM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. Steel plans to lay off hundreds of workers in Michigan

CHICAGO (Reuters) - United States Steel Corp (N:X) will temporarily lay off hundreds of workers at its Great Lakes facility in Michigan in coming weeks, according to a filing the steelmaker made with the State of Michigan.

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed on Aug. 5, the Pittsburgh-based company said it expects to let go fewer than 200 workers following its decision to halt production at the Michigan facility.

In mid-June, the company said it would idle two blast furnaces at its Great lakes and Gary Works plants, citing lower steel prices and softening demand.

U.S. Steel said the lay-offs at the Michigan plant could last beyond six months. They will impact nearly every area of the facility, from blast furnace to finishing operations, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

The lay-offs call into question claims President Donald Trump has made about the resurgence of the domestic steel industry. Last week in Pennsylvania, Trump said his 25% tariff on foreign imports has turned a "dead" business into a "thriving" enterprise.

Domestic steel prices did rise in the immediate aftermath of Trump's tariffs. But they have fallen dramatically amid improved supplies and weakening demand from the auto and farm machinery sectors.

Prices of hot-rolled coil are down nearly 37% from their 2018 peak.

U.S. Steel's stock price has plunged 73% since March 1, 2018, when Trump announced his decision to crack down on foreign imports.

An official at the United Steelworkers union, which represents U.S. Steel workers, said lay-offs were also planned for the Gary Works facility in Indiana. U.S. Steel's spokeswoman, however, said the company "currently" doesn't expect "any employment level changes" at the Indiana plant.

The city of Gary and the state of Indiana have offered U.S. Steel a $47 million tax break package to help it invest $750 million in modernizing Gary Works, its largest North American plant.

The state's tax credits and worker training grants were tied to the condition that U.S. Steel retain at least 3,875 jobs at Gary Works.

U.S. Steel plans to lay off hundreds of workers in Michigan
 

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Comments (5)
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Aug 20, 2019 9:33AM ET
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Wasn't it thousands earlier this morning??
Al Vlaj
alvlaj Aug 20, 2019 9:33AM ET
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It was i think. Maybe its 10s of hundreds.
Bronson Naab
Bronson Naab Aug 20, 2019 3:53AM ET
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“MAGA!” Scream the Trump Lemmings. Thr con man strikes again.
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Aug 19, 2019 7:35PM ET
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Obama weakened these industried so much it is sooooo difficult to repair his damage.
Steven Chen
Gamer_LG Aug 19, 2019 7:35PM ET
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so we're not in the best economy in history of USA as trump noted? lol.. come on, you guys gotta pick 1 and stick with it.
Kenneth Novak
Kenneth Novak Aug 19, 2019 7:35PM ET
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No we ARE having the best economy ever. Trump wins 45 states. Who else you got, Liz Warren as President? bbwwaahhaaaaa
Al Vlaj
alvlaj Aug 19, 2019 7:35PM ET
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Kenneth Novak if by states you mean Russian provinces, then yes, i agree.
Jeff B
Jeff B Aug 19, 2019 6:30PM ET
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amen
Bernard Seah
Bernard Seah Aug 19, 2019 6:13PM ET
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Really knows how to mess up the economy instead of improving it. Urgently needs a good leader to clear up all the mess and damages for the economy to improve.
 
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