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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday March 3, 2009
U.S. Steel is shutting down all operations at the former Stelco, putting 1,500 employees in Hamilton and Nanticoke out of work indefinitely.

In a city that has always looked to steel as its backbone, it is the most devastating indicator yet of a deepening economic crisis that has already battered Hamilton's struggling manufacturing sector.

The latest cuts come on top of 684 layoffs that have already been delivered at U.S. Steel Canada, bringing the total number of job losses to 2,190. No salaried staff were affected.

"This is going to devastate Hamilton," said Rolf Gerstenberger, president of the United Steelworkers union in Hamilton. "You lay off hundreds of thousands of steelworkers in Hamilton and North America and this crisis will just get worse."

Hamilton Steel and Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke will be mothballed over the next few weeks as U.S. Steel concentrates production at plants in Alabama, Pittsburgh and Indiana. Only the coke ovens at Lake Erie Works will continue to run.

The Canadian plants -- bought by U.S. Steel for $1.9 billion less than 16 months ago -- will not resume production until market conditions improve.

n Ottawa, officials are "watching the situation closely" to ensure it complies with the Investment Canada Act, said Pema Lhalungpa, an aide to Industry Minister Tony Clement. To get approval from Ottawa, a foreign company looking to buy a Canadian company must agree to "undertakings," which specify the net benefit the firm will provide to Canada in employment, investment or other contributions. Source.

Stelco shut down, production to U.S.
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