Employees of Granite City Steel Works in Granite City will begin the process of shutting down the plant tomorrow. U.S. Steel says about 2,000 employees will be idled as it shuts down the plant due to low demand for domestic rolled steel.
The company says a tentative contract with its unions reached last weekend is good news for the future of U.S. Steel but would not impact the plans the company announced in the fall to idle the Granite City plant. The Granite City Works steel plant makes rolled steel used primarily in the oil refining industry. The company, and the union, cite the influx of cheap foreign steel on U.S. markets as a primary reason for the shutdown, along with falling worldwide oil prices. The last time the plant was idled was in November 2008 and it lasted seven months. Employees will receive some compensation following their layoff, depending on seniority.