U.S. Steel says 799 workers have been laid off in Fairfield

18 April 2015

U.S. Steel Corp. on Friday confirmed that 799 employees to date have been temporarily laid off in Fairfield.

Sarah Cassella, a spokeswoman for U.S. Steel Corp. in Pittsburgh, told the BBJ on Friday that since March 29, 799 workers have been laid off at both the Fairfield Works and Fairfield Tubular facility. That's in addition to 300 previous layoffs at the company earlier this year.

Additionally, Cassella said the company on Friday sent out more federal WARN notices to 1,404 employees across its footprint. She said those workers are all within U. S. Steel Tubular Products.

Those notices went to 404 managers nationwide. Cassella said some of those managers were in Fairfield, but wouldn't confirm the exact number.

Notices also went to 579 employees in Lone Star Tubular Operations, 166 in Offshore Operations Houston and 255 at Wheeling Machine Pine Bluff, according to the company.

Cassella also said the number of employees who are actually laid will be dependent on the specific needs of the company, including operations and maintenance schedules.

She said the layoffs are a response to global market conditions.

The conditions mentioned involve a strong U.S. dollar, overproduction of steel in China and OPEC's reluctance to slow its production and export of oil. U.S. Steel warned investors of these factors in January, in its latest disclosure.

Before the layoffs began in March, we reported that U.S. Steel could save hundreds of jobs in Birmingham, following the approval of tax abatements on $277.5 million in capital investments on two projects.

Under the first abatement, U.S. Steel will be allowed to invest $230 million in technology for an electric arc furnace while the company's Oilwell Services will make up the second project, creating a Fairfield-based manufacturing facility for tubular products with a capital investment of $47.5 million.

Birmingham is not the only market affected, with U.S. Steel recent laying off 2,000 workers in Illinois and 700 in Minnesota.