Following is a statement from Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan on the announcement by the U.S. Steel Corp. on the idling of the Granite City Steel Works.
“Last April, when the U.S. Steel Corporation announced it would not be idling the Granite City Steel Works as was previously announced, I shared the belief of other officials and community leaders that we had averted a situation that would have negatively impacted thousands of families and the economy of Madison County.
Unfortunately, the business environment that existed when U.S. Steel first considered idling the Granite City Steelworks has not changed. Unfair trade practices, fluctuating oil prices and inferior steel imported from South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and elsewhere have put our country’s steel-producing companies — and our hard-working, skilled steel workers — at a distinct disadvantage and have taken us to where we are today, the possibility of the plant’s closing and another devastating blow to the men and women employed at the plant, the thousands of people employed at satellite businesses and their families.
While we hope the idling of the Granite City Steel Works can again be averted, if the plant is idled Madison County will do everything possible to assist the affected workers. As this situation unfolds, I will join with Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer, our representatives in Congress and our U.S. senators in the continued attempt to level the playing field for the United States’ steel industry.
This announcement comes at a time following several years of steady economic growth in Madison County and the creation of thousands of new jobs. At the same time we are working to ensure the long-term viability of the Granite City Steel Works, we must continue to focus on economic development in Madison County, the creation of new jobs and an environment where new businesses want to locate and existing businesses can grow and prosper.”
The company released the following statement on Tuesday:
United States Steel Corporation announced today it is examining a consolidation of its North American Flat-Rolled operations and may temporarily idle its Granite City Works steelmaking operations and most finishing operations in Granite City. As the primary flat-roll supplier of Lone Star Tubular Operations, the consolidation is part of an ongoing adjustment of steelmaking operations throughout North America to match customer demands.
The company routinely adjusts production at its operating facilities to reflect market fluctuations. The potential consolidation is a result of continued challenging global market conditions including fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts, depressed steel prices and unfairly traded imports. These global influences continue to have a significant impact on the business. The company will be working closely with its customers and will continue to operate its steelmaking operations in Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
As part of the possible consolidation, 2,000 employees at Granite City Works are being issued notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. These notices will be issued beginning on Oct. 6 and are separate from previously issued notices.