TORONTO Energex Tube, a
division of Chicago-based JMC Steel Group Inc., plans to
permanently lay off 110 workers at its Welland, Ontario,
facility effective July 15, a union official told AMM
The cuts, which will leave one
shift running at Wellands 8-inch-diameter pipe mill, are
necessary because of high inventory levels at the plant, a
"glut" of pipe imports that drove down prices and "no customer
demand," said Doug Orr, a national representative for the
Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, which represents workers at
the Welland operations.
The 8-inch mill only has one
customer, and that is "expected to dry up by years end,"
Orr said. "The previous ownership ran a business model that
always had the plant running full-out, which wasnt
sustainable. The new ownership group demands specific margins
of profits as well as firm orders before they produce
JMC announced April 3 that it
had completed its acquisition of the former Lakeside Steel Inc.
At the time, the company also announced plans to combine its
own energy tubular assets with those of the former Lakeside to
form a new division called Energex Tube.
JMC assumed responsibility for
Lakesides facilities in Thomasville, Ala., and Corpus
Christi, Texas, as well as its Welland operations
(AMM, April 5).
There are 352 workers at
Energexs Welland facility, Orr said in e-mails to
Energex Tube didnt respond
to requests for comment.