NEW YORK U.S. Steel
Corp.s Lake Erie Works intends to lock out unionized
workers at 9 a.m. April 28 as labor negotiations between the
two parties have failed.
The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker
gave a 72-hour lockout notice to the United Steelworkers
union in a letter dated April 25.
Union members overwhelmingly
rejected the companys proposed contract a day earlier (
amm.com, April 24). The previous contract expired
Neither a spokesman for the
company nor union officials could be reached for comment,
although a notice from USW Local 8782 indicated that members
would start a picket line.
Negotiations between the two
parties heated up after the union claimed that the company had
been training salaried, nonunion workers to operate its
hot-strip mill, including rolling slabs, at the Nanticoke,
Ontario-based mill, raising speculation of a lockout (
amm.com, April 8).
However, market participants
said a lockout might not have much impact on the industry, even
if production is affected, citing overcapacity issues in the
"I dont think the impact
will ultimately mean anything. Theyll find other ways to
supply their business. Even with a lockout, no one said
anything about shutting down production," one trader said. "The
market impact overall? Zero."
According to Charles Bradford,
president of New York-based Bradford Research Inc., the
steelmakers Hamilton Works in Ontario would be affected
by a disruption at Lake Erie, as Hamilton doesnt have a
"My guess is that theres
extra inventory around, so a lockout wouldnt impact the
market immediately," he told AMM, adding that if
production went offline at Lake Erie Works it wouldnt be
enough to change the oversupply situation in the market.
A lockout during the last set of
contract negotiations at Lake Erie Works lasted eight months
before the two sides reached a three-year deal (
amm.com, April 16, 2010).