U.S. Steel will idle East Chicago Tin mill, lay off 369 workers

EAST CHICAGO| U.S. Steel will lay off 369 workers in East Chicago, where it plans to idle its tin mill.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker notified workers this week it would temporarily idle East Chicago Tin, a finishing plant that makes tin-plated metal largely for canned foods such as soup 

and vegetables.

The mill, which U.S. Steel acquired from LTV in 2001, will go back online and bring back the laid-off workers when market conditions improve.

"We will be temporarily idling East Chicago Tin with layoffs beginning in mid-March due to low-priced imports of tin mill products that have severely hampered our business," U.S. Steel 

spokeswoman Sarah Cassella said. "The idling is temporary but we cannot comment as to the duration."

So far, 2015 has been a dark year for workers at U.S. Steel, which has laid off more than 1,300 employees company-wide as imports have stolen away its market share and failing oil 

prices have shellacked its tubular steel business.

U.S. Steel also warned the United Steelworkers union this week it will permanently shutter its coke-making operations at Granite City Works in Illinois, where 176 workers will be laid off. 

The steelmaker, the second largest in the United States after Nucor, already laid off 756 workers earlier this month when it idled plants in Ohio and Texas that make steel pipe and tube for 

oil drilling and exploration.

Cassella said the company's announcement only concerned East Chicago Tin when asked about any impact on U.S. Steel operations at Gary Works, the Midwest Plant in Portage, and the 

Chrome Deposit Corp. in Portage, where it's a 50/50 partner.