Steel Market Update sources and other trade press and are reporting that Cleveland-Cliffs is planning to immediately idle the hot strip mill at AK Steel’s Dearborn Works in Michigan for an indefinite period, possibly permanently, in response to the coronavirus crisis and other market pressures.
Cleveland-Cliffs, parent of AK Steel, declined to comment, saying the company is in a quiet period ahead of its first-quarter earnings call on May 11.
Sources say AK will move Dearborn’s slab rolling to its mill in Middletown, Ohio. Further details were unavailable. The company temporarily idled the blast furnace at Dearborn last month in response to the sharp decline in automotive demand.
In a letter posted on the mill’s Facebook site, UAW Local 600 President Steve LaBodie expressed disappointment that union members learned of the company’s plans to idle the Dearborn Works hot mill via press reports. “I am furious that our membership had to find out in such a manner,” he said. “This is terrible news and it’s going to negatively affect a lot of employees.”
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