Steel Blog

The Lake Erie Works union workers were locked out of their jobs by U.S. Steel management at 9 AM Sunday morning. This is the second time USS has locked out USW Local 8782 since the company bought the former Stelco facilities in 2007. They have also locked out Lake Erie sister plant, Hamilton Works when its contract expired in 2010



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Lake Erie union workers soundly rejected the final contract offer from U.S. Steel on Tuesday.  With 92 percent of the membership turning out to vote, 70 percent voted against the package. 

Last week, union members overwhelmingly resolved in a 796-4 decision not to put the company’s final offer to vote, but were stymied by a mandate from the international headquarters of the United Steel Workers requiring the vote to proceed.

Bill Ferguson, president of the USW Local 8782, said a somewhat lower vote against the contract was a result of four days of rumors.

“There have been rumors of plant closure and all kinds of other things you always hear at times like this,” he said in a report by the Hamilton Spectator.

Union officials will meet with a mediator on Wednesday, but if the company will not return to the bargaining table, a 72 hour notice of a strike or lockout is likely to occur.

A planned shutdown of a blast furnace that coincides with contract negotiations has troubled workers. The union also revealed that U.S. Steel has been training managers and salaried staff to operate the strip mill along with shifting blast furnace operators to general labor duties at lower wages. A similar scenario preceded an eleven month lock-out at U.S. Steel’s Hamilton Works in 2010.

 



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Chicago, April 22, 2013 – In defense of its patent rights, ArcelorMittal filed complaints before the District Court of Delaware on April 16 to demonstrate that AK Steel, Severstal North America (SNA) and SNA’s coating partner, Wheeling-Nisshin, have infringed upon its Usibor® aluminum silicon coated products patent (Usibor®-AS) by selling steel grades protected under the Usibor®-AS patent to automakers and their supply chains.

The decision follows the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s reissuance of patent RE44,153 on April 16, 2013, covering the domestic production of Usibor®-AS as a hot rolled or cold rolled steel with a Ultimate Tensile Strength of 1,000 megapascal (MPa) or higher after hot forming. The patent does not expire until July 9, 2019.

In addition to patent protection in the United States, counterpart Usibor®-AS patents in Canada, many European countries, Brazil and Japan cover the production, import and/or sale of steel, steel parts and vehicles containing the Usibor®-AS technology. Additionally, the importation into the United States of steel, steel parts or vehicles containing the infringing steel may also be subject to legal action.

If the court rules in ArcelorMittal’s favor, AK and SNA will be held liable for damages in the case, and the company will seek an entry of injunction, prohibiting AK and SNA from further sale of infringing steel. Infringement of ArcelorMittal’s Usibor®-AS patent by other steelmakers places the entire supply chain at significant risk for financial and reputational consequences.

Usibor®-AS, an aluminum pre-coated hot rolled or cold rolled steel, is an important product in ArcelorMittal’s portfolio of automotive steel solutions. Usibor®-AS, often used in anti-intrusion and safety cage components, contributes to a significant weight savings for the final part, compared to standard high yield strength steel. Supplied in the United States by ArcelorMittal’s Indiana steelmaking facilities, Usibor®-AS allows automakers to significantly reduce the weight of a vehicle, thereby increasing fuel efficiency. Usibor®-AS also allows automakers to replace aluminum and carbon fiber in vehicles since the thinner yet higher strength material reduces a vehicle’s weight at a much lower cost. (Source: ArcelorMittal)

 



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ThyssenKrupp AG announced on Monday the appointment of Carsten Spohr and Dr. Lothar Steinbach to the Supervisory Board. 



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The following letter was received by Steel Market Update with an official CRU comment on U.S. Mill announcements to move away from discounted CRU indexed-based deals:



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Sample Article - Special Permissions

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:49

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Hot Rolled Futures- More Capitulation

Friday, 12 April 2013 14:55

Written by: Andre Marshall, Crunchrisk LLC

Financial Markets:

All time highs yesterday again in the S+P 500. Our target zone of 1547-1586 has been completely met at this point.  This morning we are down 7 pts approx. so far. As I mentioned in my last ditty, the power of retail flows stampeding into the market is not to be underestimated, but anyone close to the market or with any sense wouldn’t get anywhere near this market right now.
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Steel service center, Metals USA, will become part of Reliance Steel & Aluminum at the close of business today (Friday, April 12, 2013). Metals USA has three primary sales groups - flat rolled, plate & structural (long products) and fabricated construction products.

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