U.S. Steel in Illinois to send 2,080 employees home
The plant shutdown is "a result of challenging market conditions that reflect the cyclical nature of the industry. Global influences in the market like reduced steel prices, unfair trade, imports and fluctuating oil prices, continue to have an impact on the business," the company said in a statement.
"The company will continue to operate its steelmaking operations in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania."
U.S. Steel company owns both the Minntac taconite iron ore mine and processing plant in Mountain Iron and Keetac mine and plant in Keewatin, and is Minnesota's largest producer of taconite iron ore. The company is a minority owner in Hibbing Taconite.
U.S. Steel has more than 1,000 employees combined at the two Minnesota operations. Two weeks ago it announced that it was idling Keetac starting May 13 and laying off up to 412 workers because of a glut of iron ore, and lack of demand and low prices for U.S.-made steel, mostly due to imported steel made of foreign ore. ■