Granite City, IL – About 90 members of Steelworkers Local 1899 on Monday were preparing for an indefinite layoff brought on by declines in the market for steel products made at U.S. Steel in Granite City.
Local President Dan Simmons was conducting three conference calls with the members to explain the action and help them prepare for coping without their jobs, at least for a while.
Simmons said most of the workers were relatively recent hires who hadn’t been through the layoff process before. They included probationary employees with three to four months on the job.
After a period of strong markets, the plant’s orders had dropped in recent months because of the effects of the coronavirus. The plant has shut done one of its furnaces to reduce over-capacity, although the company is keeping it fired up in case of a quick turnaround.
“We’re hoping this will be a short one,” Simmons said.
The workforce had been up to 1,480 union members before the cutback. Auto and railroad industry products are down, plus pipe and tube for drilling and other steel products, he said.