US Steel is planning a full idle of the Keetac taconite plant in Keewatin, Minn. WARN notices have been issued to workers and the layoffs could commence on or after Oct. 11.
Keetac was idled In May, laying off 412 workers, but about half of those were recalled last month for repair work. A spokesperson for US Steel said the full idling of the facility will affect the current 210 workers and could last as long as six months.
US Steel cited low iron ore prices and continued dumping of steel into the US as reasons for the temporary shutdown of the facility.
“This WARN notice is related to the global market challenges in the steel industry,” said spokesperson Courtney Boone. “We throughout the year have had to adjust operations up and down related to market conditions and we continue to do so.”
Since March, 1,452 temporary layoffs have affected Iron Range workers at U.S. Steel, Cliffs Natural Resources, Mesabi Nugget and Magnetation.
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