USS-POSCO Faces Shutdowns And Furloughs For Pittsburg Plant Workers
USS-POSCO is facing pressure from foreign imports combined with decreased orders at its Pittsburg flat-rolled steel plant. The US Steel and POSCO joint venture is planning furloughs and temporary shutdowns at the plant, which has a 700+ staff. The shutdown could happen for 1-2 weeks in late November and December (around Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays) with furloughs being considered in September, according to the San Jose Mercury News article.
"Foreign imports, especially from China, have increased," said George Kunst, general manager-employee relations for USS-POSCO. "Things were looking good in the first half of the year, they were picking up," Kunst said. "But starting in June, things really slowed down."
The weak nonresidential construction market further hurts USS-POSCO as that was the main end market for the company’s sheet business. Currently, the sheet business is at only 50% of normal capacity.
Another company directly affected by USS-POSCO’s slowdown in orders is United Spiral Pipe, which makes large steel tubes. United Spiral Pipe is facing job cuts or reduced hours, with about 83 jobs possibly affected.
Although manufacturing employment has bounced back in the past 12 months in California and the East Bay, the past five years show manufacturers cutting 226,500 jobs in California and 17,100 jobs in the East Bay.
(Source: San Jose Mercury News)