WIkipedia, Republic Steel plant
A double body blow to the city of Lorain is coming down the pike. Roughly 461 steelworkers will be losing their jobs in the coming weeks and months as Republic Steel idles its Lorain plant and U.S Steel begins layoffs that were only recently announced.
First, on the Republic beat, via the Chronicle-Telegram:
The Canton-based company plans to stagger what it described as roughly 200 layoffs over the next few months and will continue to employ about 900 workers at other locations in Ohio, New York and Ontario, according to a news release.
“We hope that we can resume the Lorain operations in the near future,” Republic President and CEO Jaime Vigil said in a statement. “We are positioned for growth and will be ready to provide capacity once the market turns around.”
Union President Dennis Hamilton said he and other union officials were told of Republic’s decision to idle the plant during a meeting with management early Thursday.
“For an indefinite amount of time they’re going to have everybody out of the plant,” he said. “It’s going to be an idle facility.”
And on the U.S. Steel side, again via the Chronicle-Telegram:
United Steelworkers Local 1104 President Dennis Hamilton said Thursday he was only recently told by U.S. Steel officials that layoffs will start next week when 43 people are expected to be idled.
The layoff numbers at U.S. Steel will continue to climb for the rest of the month. Hamilton said there are 337 active employees at U.S. Steel right now, and he expects that number to drop to 76 by next month.
“They’re in bad shape,” Hamilton said of the company.
Sarah Cassella, a U.S. Steel spokeswoman, blamed market forces for the actions U.S. Steel is planning to take.
“Challenging market conditions, including fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts, depressed steel prices and unfairly traded imports continue to reduce demand for tubular goods,” Cassella wrote.
There is much, much more in both of the stories, including reaction from workers in the unions who are staring down a future in the unemployment line.
As for the city of Lorain, officials told the CT that while the news is horrible, it wasn't unexpected. Still, the city was already facing a budget shortfall of about $2.3 million before the announcements. That hole is certain to grow bigger now.