Last Operational Blast Furnace at US Steel’s Plant Is Being Extinguished Indefinitely – Mass Layoffs Possible

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The American steel manufacturing sector continues to contract as Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel moves closer to permanently shutting down its last operating blast furnace in Granite City, Illinois.

America’s manufacturing is on the fast track to disappearing entirely, forcing all of us to be beholden to foreign suppliers for our raw materials.

Officials at the U.S. Steel plant in Granite City, just across the river from St. Louis, said this week that the blast furnace will stay idle indefinitely — furthering a closure initially billed as temporary — and that 600 more employees have been notified they might be laid off, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.

The plant has been under a cloud since last year, when U.S. Steel began talking about plans to sell part of the facility to Chicago-based SunCoke Energy. If that deal goes through, it could mean the end of close to 1,000 of 1,450 jobs at the U.S. Steel plant.

Adding more uncertainty, U.S. Steel said this past summer that it was mulling a sale of the company.

According to Recycling Today, U.S. Steel said it was considering statements of interest from other steel companies. U.S. Steel eventually noted it is leaning toward an agreement with Ohio-based  Cleveland-Cliffs but added it has a confidentiality agreement over the discussions.

Recycling Today also reported that U.S. Steel is accepting final bids on Friday, and Cleveland-Cliffs and Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal are front-runners.

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