Official: US Steel not idling Granite City mill as planned

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) —A spokesman for a southern Illinois congressman says U.S. Steel won’t temporarily shut down its Granite City mill as planned but will keep one of two blast furnaces operating and idle only 80 workers.

Spokesman Jim Forbes says the company told U.S. Rep. Mike Bost on Thursday it wasn’t going through with plans announced in March to idle the entire suburban St. Louis mill and lay off 2,080 workers. The layoffs were to take effect Thursday.

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Sarah Casella says the decision to keep the mill operating was “based on market conditions.”

Most steel produced at the mill is shipped to a Texas plant that turns it into pipe for the oil and gas industry. A sharp drop in oil prices have led to falling demand for pipe.