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Economy & Business

U.S. Steel Lays Off Non-Union Workers In Granite City Due To ‘Challenging Market’

A U.S. Steel worker watches as a slab of steel moves through the production process.
Derik Holtmann | Belleville News-Democrat

GRANITE CITY — An undisclosed number of non-union employees at Granite City’s U.S Steel plant have been laid off.

In a statement U.S. Steel spokesperson Amanda Malkowski said the layoffs were due to “challenging market conditions.”

“We’ve been battling challenging market conditions, which means we need to truly become a leaner, more efficient organization faster,” the statement said. “As part of this process, we are taking the difficult step to eliminate a number of non-represented positions in the United States.”

The Associated Press reported the corporation had eliminated an undisclosed amount of non-union management jobs in Minnesota last week. U.S. Steel announced recently it had a third-quarter loss of $35 million.

Last month the company announced a savings plan hoped to save $200 million by 2022.

“Unfortunately, this was a necessary step in the execution of our strategy which will deliver cost and capability differentiation to create a world competitive ‘best of both’ footprint,” Malkowski said. “It’s always difficult when we have to say goodbye to valued colleagues, but these moves will allow us to better manage our resources amid challenging market conditions.”

In 2018, U.S. Steel brought back 800 jobs to the Granite City Works steel mill after tariffs on important steel were enacted by President Donald J. Trump. Before the tariffs were enacted, the plant was “idled” for an extended amount of time.

Granite City has seen its fair share of layoffs in the past two decades. According to St. Louis Public Radio, in 2008 U.S. Steel idled the mill, laying off 2,000 workers and later reopening in 2009. In 2015, 1,800 were laid off and steel production was halted.

According to the Mesabi Daily News, U.S. Steels’ recent losses are its first since Trump imposed the tariffs. The Associated Press reported that steel prices have been ind decline over the past few months.

Kanahn Mansouri is a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.

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