Monday, August 17, 2015

Update on Upcoming Steelworkers Labor Negotiations ... U.S. Steel to Close Alabama Mill

In a post yesterday about Chinese competition, we discussed the lack of global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing operations.

Specifically, in referencing the steelworkers union and its labor contract demands, we wondered why, absent meaningful change, companies would maintain U.S. manufacturing jobs in the future.

Therein we also linked to an article about steelworker negotiations and union demands for free health care.

Here's an update.

U.S. Steel to Close Some Alabama Steel Ops, Cut 1,100 Jobs has the latest on the developing story:

"U.S. Steel Corp. said Monday that it plans to permanently close steelmaking and finishing operations at its Fairfield, Ala. plant, a move that will impact 1,100 jobs.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel said it plans to close its Fairfield Works blast furnace and finishing operations at the plant on or after Nov. 17.

The company will continue to operate the slab and rounds casters, #5 coating line and Double G hot-dip galvanizing joint venture in Jackson, Miss.

U.S. Steel said the move will improve the efficiency of its flat-rolled segment.

U.S. Steel has been hurt recently by high amounts of imports, low oil prices and excess inventories. A sharp decline in oil prices has led to a pullback by energy producers and lower demand for steel pipe for drilling.

In January, the company said it would temporarily curtail operations at two plants in Alabama, including Fairfield Works, and one in Texas as the collapse of oil prices continued to punish key segments of American industry.

In late July, U.S. Steel said it expected market conditions to improve in the second half of the year as supply chain inventories rebalance, primarily in flat-rolled markets."

Summing Up 

These upcoming steelworker negotiations are going to be very interesting.

It looks like both sides are in for some exciting times.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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