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  #21  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2008, 5:44 PM
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US Steel Hamilton also extending blast-furnace shutdown
November 13, 2008

BY NAOMI POWELL
The Hamilton Spectator

U.S. Steel Canada will lay off 209 workers and extend the shutdown of its Hamilton blast furnace into 2009, union leaders say.

The steelmaker will temporarily lay off 177 employees  Monday, said Rolf Gerstenberger, president of the United Steelworkers union representing Hamilton workers.

The union was told an  additional 32  layoffs will come in the next two to three weeks, he said.

The workers will not be called back until the plant’s blast furnace is brought back from a shutdown, Gerstenberger said.

The shutdown  -  which began late last month for a tentaive period of six to eight weeks - will now be extended into the new year, Gerstenberger said.

U.S. Steel Canada would only confirm it will lay off 175 workers and would not speculate on any future cuts.

“The length of the layoffs will depend on an increase in customer demand,” said spokesperson Trevor Harris.

Layoffs are occurring across Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel’s North American operations, he said.

“While we have made every effort to maintain employment levels at our operations; we must now adjust our workforce to match our production levels,” Harris said.

“The dramatic downturn in the economy has negatively affected our overall business, and we have adjusted production across all of our operations to stay in line with customer demand.”

The Hamilton plant employs about 1700 people.
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  #22  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2008, 1:04 AM
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I hope the federal government decides to put billions of dollars into rail infrastructure programs including high speed rail. The auto industry will not rebound and rail building could replace some of the steel demand being lost. Using money that would otherwise go to EI payments and useless bailouts to a failing industry, we could employ people producing something of real value that would be ours for generations to come.
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  #23  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2008, 1:32 AM
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I hope the federal government decides to put billions of dollars into rail infrastructure programs including high speed rail. The auto industry will not rebound and rail building could replace some of the steel demand being lost. Using money that would otherwise go to EI payments and useless bailouts to a failing industry, we could employ people producing something of real value that would be ours for generations to come.
This could really be a big contract for all. Both steel companies can supply the steel for the rails and the cars. And National Steel Car can make the cars. That makes a good outcome for all 3 of the companies.
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2008, 1:37 AM
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Sadly, I suspect that when USS bought Stelco it was more interested in its customer accounts than its production facilities. I don't expect to see Hamilton Works as part of its portfolio in the near future. I expect to see it divided up and sold off in parts. Or simply mothballed. They may keep Nanticoke but that's about it. I guess there's some comfort in the fact that the Hamilton plant is no longer a significant employer for this city.
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2008, 1:40 AM
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Sadly, I suspect that when USS bought Stelco it was more interested in its customer accounts than its production facilities. I don't expect to see Hamilton Works as part of its portfolio in the near future. I expect to see it divided up and sold off in parts. Or simply mothballed. They may keep Nanticoke but that's about it. I guess there's some comfort in the fact that the Hamilton plant is no longer a significant employer for this city.
Sadly it seems to be headed that way. I hope it doesn't come to that though. I guess time will tell.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2008, 3:43 AM
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Originally Posted by markbarbera View Post
Sadly, I suspect that when USS bought Stelco it was more interested in its customer accounts than its production facilities. I don't expect to see Hamilton Works as part of its portfolio in the near future. I expect to see it divided up and sold off in parts. Or simply mothballed. They may keep Nanticoke but that's about it. I guess there's some comfort in the fact that the Hamilton plant is no longer a significant employer for this city.
yea, that's looking more likely everyday now.
I'm starting to think that it might be time for the place to just close down once and for all and for Hamilton to embark on the journey of re-creating ourself.
Tough, I know. That loss of tax dollars will turn city hall into a freaking circus, but it's going to happen eventually. This might be as good a time as any. Once the next boom period comes, perhaps the land will be bought and the long process of clean-up and rehab can begin.
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2008, 12:22 PM
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Layoffs hit Lake Erie Works
U.S. Steel announces temporary cuts as industry crisis worsens

November 26, 2008
Naomi Powell
The Hamilton Spectator

U.S. Steel Canada is planning about 100 layoffs at its Lake Erie facility as the crisis in the steel industry worsens, union leaders say.

The temporary cuts come on the heels of roughly 175 layoffs at the steelmaker's Hamilton operation, where the blast furnace was shut down due to slumping demand.

"We've been told to expect layoffs and the union is preparing for that," said Bill Ferguson, president of the United Steelworkers union at the Lake Erie plant. "They told us they're running different scenarios, but we should be prepared to see people go in December."

Though no official notice has been issued to workers, many on the plant floor have already been notified of the cuts by their managers, he added.

U.S. Steel Canada employs about 1,100 workers at the Lake Erie plant in Nanticoke. It employs 1,700 workers in Hamilton. Both plants make steel using a blast furnace.

Trevor Harris, a spokesperson for the firm, declined to comment on any potential layoffs.

Demand for steel has flatlined as orders dry up from key customers in the automotive, appliance and construction industries.

Analysts expect the massive production slowdown in the sector to continue as the global financial meltdown unfolds. Although weekly production levels have not yet fallen to the 10-year lows last seen in 2001, they will likely reach this point shortly, according to Mike Willemse, a steel industry analyst for CIBC World Markets.

In a note to investors, Willemse said steel production "could decline by as much as 50 per cent before stabilizing."

Steel giant ArcelorMittal has slashed global production by one-third, cutting output at Hamilton's Dofasco by 40 per cent through at least the rest of this year. The plant will shut down for two weeks at Christmas, with about 5,000 workers required to take unpaid leave or vacation.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel has also slowed production. In addition to the Canadian cuts, it has laid off 500 workers at operations in the Pittsburgh area; northwest Indiana; Fairfield, Ala.; Ecorse and River Rouge, Mich.; and Granite City, Ill.

Analysts don't expect demand for steel to pick up until at least mid-2009 as customers work through their own inventory and scale back on production of cars and appliances.
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2008, 6:49 PM
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Check out this huge multi-company industrial complex in Germany entirely dedicated to wind turbine production:



Hamilton's future?
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  #29  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2008, 12:23 PM
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A hint into the future of Hamilton's plant?

U.S. Steel transferring work to Nanticoke

December 03, 2008
Naomi Powell
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Business/article/475912

A local steelmaker will pick up production as U.S. Steel lays off 3,500 workers south of the border.

U.S. Steel announced plans last night to idle three American plants as it battles a deep downturn in the industry.

The firm's remaining production will be consolidated at four locations, including U.S. Steel Canada's Lake Erie plant in Nanticoke.

"We believe that our difficult decision to temporarily consolidate our production is a necessary response to current market conditions," U.S. Steel CEO John Surma said in a statement last night.

The company will temporarily stop production at plants near Detroit and St. Louis and at an iron ore facility in Minnesota. Operations won't resume until markets recover, said spokesperson Courtney Boone.

U.S. Steel would not comment on how much production would be brought to its operations in Nanticoke, or at the other plants where it intends to concentrate production: Mon Valley Works near Pittsburgh, Gary Works in Gary, Ind., and Fairfield Works near Birmingham, Ala.

"It's certainly regrettable the company had to take these actions," said Bill Ferguson, president of the United Steelworkers union in Lake Erie. "At the same time I'm relieved Lake Erie is not on the block as yet."

Ferguson didn't know how the announcement would affect potential layoffs. Union leaders were told last week to expect about 100 layoffs in Nanticoke.

Built in the early 1980s, Lake Erie Works is the newest integrated steel plant in North America and is among U.S. Steel's most efficient.

By contrast, the company's plants in Pittsburgh and Indiana are older, with higher costs, he said.

As for the fate of U.S. Steel Canada's Hamilton plant, Boone would only say that the company is "continuing to review the ongoing operations at all of our facilities."

The blast furnace in Hamilton remains out of commission following a shutdown in late October.

U.S. Steel has already laid off more than 190 workers in the plant, and has told the union to prepare for 150 more, union leaders say.

U.S. Steel Canada employs 1,700 workers in Hamilton and 1,100 in Nanticoke.
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  #30  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 8:06 PM
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Another announcement from US Steel is imminent, and it will not be good news for Hamilton. There may be some prime waterfront property available soon...
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  #31  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 8:14 PM
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If by prime you mean the biggest damn brown field you've ever seen... then yes.
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 8:15 PM
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Potentially one of the most expensive cleanups in Canadian history to get that land usable, I'd imagine.
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Last edited by flar; Dec 10, 2008 at 8:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #33  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 8:43 PM
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Probably above $100 million, think of all the coal buried in the soil from the storage.
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  #34  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 8:47 PM
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Perfect for an economic stimulus project.
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  #35  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 9:01 PM
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I have heard through a very reliable grape vine that the steel industry in Hamilton will be cutting up to 1,000 jobs in January.
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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 9:39 PM
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I lived in one of the Spencer Creek condos a couple of years ago. I was surprised it had been an industrial site that underwent remediation. It looks like it had never been contaminated. This cleanup resulted in 4 upscale condo buildings and a retirement residence.

So, how much money will it take to remediate Stelco properties if it does shut down?

Imagine a whole new complex of condos. I think the core needs a mix of housing anyways.
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 10:07 PM
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I lived in one of the Spencer Creek condos a couple of years ago. I was surprised it had been an industrial site that underwent remediation. It looks like it had never been contaminated. This cleanup resulted in 4 upscale condo buildings and a retirement residence.

So, how much money will it take to remediate Stelco properties if it does shut down?

Imagine a whole new complex of condos. I think the core needs a mix of housing anyways.
What good are waterfront condos if there are no jobs? It's going to create a bunch of Toronto commuters that will just add to the traffic headache, not to mention the further decay of the City of Hamilton.
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  #38  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. For one, Stelco isn't even closed. Then the plant would have to be demolished. After that, somebody would have to fund the cleanup . There won't be any private funding for that job, and governments are usually reluctant to fund anything in Hamilton, especially a huge project like this. The city won't be able to afford it. After it's cleaned up, if it ever gets cleaned up, I seriously doubt anyone will want to put condos there, as the land will still be completely surrounded by other industrial areas.
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  #39  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 1:14 AM
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I agree with you Flar. Who wants a condo right beside dirty industry? No way one could open any windows, let alone sit on a balcony. Plus we are in a recession. No one is spending major money these days.
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 1:21 AM
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The Port Authority will likely purchase the land. It'll be up to them to decide what to do with the land, likely keep it for employment since that's all that they focus on.
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