Corporation (USS) is downsizing its non-represented, salaried workforce by
spokesperson called the move a “restructuring” and attributed it both to
current market conditions and to long-term strategic belt-tightening.
“This is part of
the ongoing adjustment to staff levels and operations due to challenging
market conditions, including fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts,
depressed steel prices, and unfairly traded imports,” Sarah Cassella told
the Chesterton Tribune today.
But the downsizing
is also the latest “effort” in what USS has dubbed the “Carnegie Way,”
Cassella confirmed. The company introduced the Carnegie Way in its 2013
annual report, describing it as a “comprehensive transformation process”
intended to return USS to “sustainable profitability.”
One of the first
“initiatives” under the Carnegie Way, announced in spring 2014, was a
reduction of the workforce involved in “operations and business-support
functions,” although the company declined at the time to identify any target
number or to say whether the reductions were to be achieved through
attrition, layoffs, or early buyouts.
restructuring will impact a quarter of the non-represented workforce--or
roughly 750 of the company’s 3,000 salaried employees--but none of the
18,000 employees represented by the United Steelworkers. Those impacted will
receive benefits under the company’s supplemental unemployment benefits
program, Cassella said. She would not say how the restructuring will be
implemented at Gary Works. “We are not providing context on the number of
jobs by location.”
comes two months after USS announced a $1.5 billion net loss in 2015, the
sixth year out of the last seven in which the company has posted a loss.
In its 2016 Proxy
Statement, USS discussed the 2015 financial results in this way:
“Macroeconomic factors created market challenges for the corporation that
negatively affected revenues, earnings, and stock price in 2015. Despite
these difficult conditions, our focus on what we can control was a
significant contributor to 2015 results and helped to mitigate many of the
negative effects of the challenging economic environment. Benefits from our
Carnegie Way transformation efforts continue to grow and include cost
reductions, improving the flexibility and reliability of our operations, and
working more closely with our customers to create differentiated and
“We believe that
without the benefits realized through our Carnegie Way initiatives in 2014
and 2015, the corporation would have been much more negatively impacted by
market headwinds, including high levels of imports and low global commodity
prices,” USS added.
Other moves which
the company has pursued under the Carnegie Way include the permanent closure
of coke batteries at Gary Works and Granite City, Ill., Works, affecting
approximately 475 workers; and the permanent suspension of steelmaking
operations at its Fairfield, Ala., Works, affecting 1,110 workers.
December the company temporarily idled the whole of its Granite City Works
facility, laying off some 2,000 employees. And last month it idled tubular
facilities in Texas and Alabama, laying off another 800.