U.S. Steel calling back 500 workers for blast furnace restart in Granite City


GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOV.com) – U.S. Steel’s Granite City Works plant will reopen a part of their operations next year.

"It's going to be a great Christmas for us," said Granite City mayor Ed Hagnauer.

Steelworkers Union Local 1899 president Dan Simmons says 209 jobs will be returning to the plant.

Most of the steel mill closed down a year ago after years of cheaper steel flooding into the U.S. from Asia.

Legal challenges before the U.S. International Trade Commission have now put a halt to that practice and demand for U.S. steel is the rise according to the Steelworkers Union.

"We're now seeing opportunities for a level playing field and that's all we asked for," said Simmons.

In a press release Tuesday, U.S. Steel said it will reopen the idled hot strip mill in mid-February 2017. U.S. Steel said it intends to source the slabs from their other domestic facilities

“U. S. Steel is making this adjustment to its hot strip mill operating configuration to provide better alignment with customer needs and improve service while increasing the pace of its asset revitalization plan. The company plans to take periodic outages at Gary Works (Gary, Ind.), Great Lakes Works (Detroit, Mich.), and Mon Valley Works (Pittsburgh, Pa.) to improve the capabilities and reliability of the hot strip mills,” read a portion of the press release.

Blast furnaces at the mill will remain idle and that means about 1,100 workers are still out of a job.

The union however is now hoping the return of workers will lead to a full resumption of steel making in Granite City sometime in 2017.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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