US Steel Corp Laying Off More than 1,500 Workers

Weaker demand and falling steel prices are to blame, the company says.

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The United States Steel Corporation, an integrated steel producer, says it plans to lay off up to 1,545 of its workers. The workers facing layoffs are employed at the Great Lakes Works facility in Michigan. The U.S. Steel Corp recently decided to pause a significant portion of the plant.

Domestic steel prices rose after President Donald Trump began cracking down on foreign imports. But more recently, steel prices have fallen due to weaker demands from the auto and manufacturing industries.

April 1 marks the date that steel production should begin halting at the plant. The facility should stop other operations by the end of 2020 at its hot-strip mill rolling facility.

Months ago, U.S. Steel temporarily laid off 48 of its employees at the Michigan plant. It hinted that 200 more layoffs could happen down the road. The latest layoffs are a significantly higher number than anticipated.

Analysts project that due to mass job losses at Michigan factories, the 2020 election is likely to produce a change of leadership to bring back jobs in the Great Lakes state.

U.S. Steel Corp, which is based out of Pittsburgh, acknowledged that the layoffs were due in part as part of its overall strategy to better align the company with its footprint, but that lower steel prices and lagging demand also contributed.

Hot-rolled coil prices fell 41 percent from their 2018 peak. Domestic steel in the U.S. saw record profits in 2018 as steel prices soared. More recently, steel reported a loss during the last quarter.

This past week, U.S. Steel said that it anticipates more significant losses during the fourth quarter.

U.S. Steel stock last traded at $11.92, or 10.71 percent less. The shares of U.S. Steel Corp have fallen 75 percent since March 2018. 

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