Demand key to Granite City steelworkers’ rehiring; tariff order ‘icing on the cake,’ says union rep
Ecstatic – that’s the word that Dan Simmons used to describe the mood in Granite City, Illinois, this week.
On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, the United Steelworkers Local 1899 president joined host Don Marsh to discuss the news that up to 500 workers will return to work at the steel mill around which the town was built.
Simmons noted that about 1,625 employees at the U.S. Steel plant were laid off in December 2015, and this week’s announcement was “long overdue.”
“I’ve been telling these guys for a long time, ‘Fire up,’” he said, “and we’re happy to [see] the smiles of the guys coming up and down my union hall.”
The company’s announcement came on the heels of President Donald Trump’s call for tariffs on imported steel. Trump signed the order on Thursday.
“Would this have happened [without that order]? I’ve been arguing that we were probably there, and [the rehiring] should have happened as we’ve seen an uptick in the demand,” Simmons said. “But the tip of the scale? Absolutely. Icing on the cake? Yes.”
Listen to the full conversation:
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