Steel Mills

Layoffs Starting Today at Essar Steel Algoma

Written by Sandy Williams

Essar Steel Algoma will begin laying off employees on Sunday evening (Oct. 4) starting with the evening shift.

USW Local 2551 received notice that approximately 100 workers will be cut, with the plate and cold mills most heavily affected.

“We’ve had to match staffing levels to production and we have experienced a sustained drop in steel prices and demand across North America and we can’t sustain current production levels. We need to respond appropriately, curtail our costs and our production levels,” said Essar Steel Algoma spokesperson Brenda Stenta.

She added that future layoffs have not been ruled out and that the company is exploring options with the union. The company will provide assistance and support to workers affected by the layoffs.

No time frame was given by the company as to when employees may be called back to work. In a Sault Star interview, Mike DePrat, president of USWA Local 2251 said employees are preparing for a six month layoff.

In the Sault Star report, DePrat blamed market conditions on the federal government’s slow response to the significant steel dumping issue.

“We’re always disappointed when there are reductions and we put this on the door of the federal government for their lateness in responding to low cost imports,” he said.

The 24-7 operations at Essar Steel Algoma will be continued with reduced levels.

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