U.S. Steel may temporarily idle the Granite City Works if the company goes forward with a consolidation of its flat-rolled steel production operations.
According to a Tuesday statement from the company, “2,000 employees at the Granite City Works are being issued notices” of the possible stoppage. The notices sent Tuesday are separate from “previously issued notices,” the company said.
The company called the possible move “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.”
Among those fluctuations is the price of oil, which the company said was one of the factors playing into the potential idling of the Granite City facility. Other factors cited include “depressed steel prices and unfairly traded imports.”
“I have reached out to our steelworkers and offered my assistance during this time of uncertainty,” U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said in a statement Tuesday evening. “I am deeply disappointed in today’s announcement and will do all I can to advocate for this idling not to occur.”
Bost’s 12th Congressional district includes the Granite City Works.
U.S. Rep Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, whose 13th District borders Bost’s, also expressed disappointment.
“Today's announcement is extremely disappointing. I've been in contact with both U.S. Steel and the (United Steel Workers union) to gather more information and stand ready to assist in whatever way necessary to help the impacted workers and their families,” Davis said in a statement.
A previous plan to shutter the Granite City Works was aborted in May when U.S. Steel instead opted to lay off 80 workers and reduce operations to a single shift.
Return to BND.com for more on this developing story.