“We were issued a notice Monday afternoon at approximately 4:35p.m. where if the market condition doesn’t improve to temporarily idle the plant for at least six months. Now, the warren notice can be rescended at any time. It is market driven and I think there is no doubt an anybody’s mind that has been keeping up with the economy and the way it is right now understands that is facing about everybody in The United States of America,” says United Steelworkers and ArcelorMittal spokesperson James Sanderson.
This closing will cause 242 employees to temporarily lose their jobs. ArcelorMittal notified the United Steelworkers about the layoffs of its employees according to the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The WARN Act offers protection to workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to provide a 60 day notice before a plant closing. ArcelorMittal says they will continue to work with the United Steelworkers to minimize the impact on employees and their families. Sanderson says the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill is the only one of its kind in the city of Georgetown, and it will take a toll on the city’s economy.
“It’s very important! The Georgetown County and the city as a whole depends, I would say on 75 to 80 percent on their budget and their secondary jobs that spring off of the steel mill and I believe people will feel a big impact if it is idled for six months. We had a closure back in 2003 and it was down for eight months and it really brought the city and the county down to its knees because of the loss of revenue,” says Sanderson.
And the reason for the closing, according to Sanderson, “This is no doubt in my mind is a result of the American people not showing support for American jobs because of the lack of the confidence in the American people in consumer products. They don’t want to buy right now, whenever they turn on their TV and all they hear is doom and gloom, people are reluctant to buy because they have to worry about their jobs,” says Sanderson.
Sanderson says about 20 employees will remain in the plant during the idle period just to maintain the equipment. The closing will take place on July 12.