TORONTO Max Aicher North
America Inc. (MANA) has recalled the entire hourly work force
at its Hamilton, Ontario, bar mill as it looks to resume
production late in the second quarter.
Nearly 60 workers were recalled
in late April, in part because of labor laws that would have
made them eligible for severance pay if they had been out of
work for 35 of the previous 52 weeks, chief financial officer
David Cameron told AMM.
"Weve recalled them so
that we have a qualified work force when we start the mill back
up and running, and we are still on target for late in the
second quarter," he said.
About 90 salaried and hourly
employees are currently working at MANA, he said.
MANA has nearly completed work
on its water box, used to both strengthen and cool steel,
Cameron said. The water box project has been the main activity
at the mill, but workers also are de-winterizing the mill and
collecting scrap in order to bring in revenue, he said.
"Theyre doing productive
work, and the mill has never looked cleaner," Cameron said. He
stressed that no equipmentjust "small amounts of metal
that were no longer serving a purpose"was being
In addition to the repairs and
cleanup, MANA also is working to secure a low-cost source of
billet in North America. Cameron declined to say what companies
might be candidates for supplying MANA with billet that would
be used to make threaded bar, a construction product. "We are
still working to conclude some deals," he said.
MANA has a production capacity
of 300,000 tons per year based on levels achieved by previous
ownersPittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. and the former
Stelco Inc. But Cameron said it was too early to say where
production levels might be when the mill restarts, given that
order intake, scheduling and billet supply details have yet to