VOL. 123 | NO. 224 | Friday, November 14, 2008
US Steel Lays Off 677 Workers in US, Canada
By DANIEL LOVERING | AP Business Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) – United States Steel Corp. said Thursday it is laying off 677 workers in the United States and Canada because of lower demand for steel amid the economic downturn.
The layoffs, effective immediately, include 500 employees in the United States and 177 in Canada, said John Armstrong, a company spokesman.
They affect workers at U.S. Steel's facilities in the Pittsburgh area; northwest Indiana; Fairfield, Ala.; Ecorse and River Rouge, Mich., and Granite City, Ill. In Canada, the company is laying off workers at its Hamilton and Erie plants.
Armstrong declined to provide details about the number of workers being laid off at each facility.
"We regret having to do this, but it's necessary in order to control costs and maintain our competitiveness in this difficult environment," he said.
The dramatic downturn in the economy has negatively affected U.S. Steel's overall business, Armstrong said, and the company has already cut production to stay in line with customer demand.
"Now we're forced to adjust our work force to match our production levels," he added. "When the jobs will come back is dependent on when we see customer demand strengthening."
Last month, U.S. Steel said its third-quarter profit more than tripled as higher prices led to record gains in its tubular and flat-rolled steel businesses. But it warned softening demand in North America and Europe would hurt results for the rest of the year.
The company said its production was reduced late in the third quarter to match declining order rates for its flat-rolled and European segments.
Some of the largest declines in orders for flat-rolled steel have come from the struggling U.S. auto industry and appliance makers.
Shares of U.S. Steel rose $2.07, or 7.6 percent, to $29.45 in afternoon trading.
On the Net:
U.S. Steel Corp.: http://www.uss.com/corp/index.asp
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