Layoffs will hit Mittal workers
This story is about how the company whips saws plants against each other. Late last week I started hearing stories at work about how the production at our plant in Burns Harbor was going to pick up and we would be getting orders from the East Chicago plants which are the old Inland and LTV plants. Last year the company originally threatened to just about shut down the Burns Harbor plant by laying off 2500 out of 3400 and putting the rest of the workers on four days. They were going to transfer orders to Inland they said. The Union leadership resisted making a concessions agreement that the company wanted until the company actually started transferring the orders and slowing the steel producing side of the mill down. Then the agreement was made to eliminate all incentive plans and other local agreements on contracting out. Now it appears that the same thing is being done to Inland to get an agreement out of them. They are threatening them with layoffs and the transfer of work to Burns Harbor. Inland has a deep reserve of local agreements to bargain with as the company was originally bought before bankruptcy. The Inland workers never lost their pensions and all local agreements, like the former LTV and Bethlehem workers did. We can only wait to see what they negotiate to preserve jobs. - redsteel46403
February 1, 2009
By Jane Huh
Post-Tribune staff writer
EAST CHICAGO -- Steelworkers at two ArcelorMittal plants in Indiana Harbor are facing temporary layoffs, a crushing development that "just reinforces the point that we need strong and quick action for the economy," said Jim Robinson, District 7 director for United Steelworkers.
"It's hard to have a booming steel industry when nobody's buying steel," Robinson said Saturday.
ArcelorMittal officials told United Steelworkers on Friday that a limp economy forced the layoffs.
"As a result of market conditions, ArcelorMittal has notified the United Steelworkers and other required stakeholders about the need for temporary layoffs at our Indiana Harbor facility, effective immediately," company spokeswoman Katie Patterson said.
The number of employees affected will be determined after negotiations between the union and the company, officials said. The layoffs are expected to last less than six months, they said.
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