Granite City residents, local leaders react to steel mill layoffs

Image source -

GRANITE CITY, Ill. – Terrible news came down Tuesday for people in Granite City and the surrounding area, as U.S. Steel announced it plans to lay off as many as a thousand employees at its Granite City mill.

The company said it plans to idle the facility. Local residents and leaders said they are stunned, angry and deeply disappointed in the company’s decision. The layoffs could be devastating for families and the local economy.

The company confirms to FOX 2 that it plans to lay off at least 600 workers. A spokesperson said the company sent out notices of potential termination to 1,000 of the 1,300 steelworkers at the mill. They said they currently plan to fire approximately 60% of those notified. The move comes after the company temporarily laid off 400 employees in September.

Locals said Tuesday’s news is a major blow to the fabric of the community. Edith Arnold said her relative has worked at the mill for more than 30 years. She said these layoffs will affect the entire community.

“You’ve got these small businesses that depend on that income to come in, and these businesses want these people to come in and spend their money,” Arnold said. “You shut them down; what are they going to do?”

How time-of-use pricing plan is impacting electric bills

Longtime Granite City resident Bob Gregonis said he felt the timing couldn’t of been worse for this announcement.

“It’s going to hurt the city laying these guys off, and gosh darn, we got people right now that don’t want to work!” Gregonis said.

State Representative Amy Elik said she feels U.S. Steel is making a mistake and mistreating the workers who built the company up to be what it is today.

“It makes me mad; it makes me feel disgusted. I’m sad for the city of Granite City and all of the employees,” Elik said. “There are workers of different family generations that have worked at the steel mill there. And it’s just really devastating for the entire region.”

Rep. Elik said it’s a selfish business move for the company and one they should not be proud of.

“I think the key here is that no matter where U.S. Steel goes, they’re not going to find more dedicated, highly qualified, skilled labor than they’ll find in Granite City.”

Many people are stunned by the announcement and unsure of what comes next. Arnold said she hopes people step up to help their neighbors affected by this change.

“Your heart just goes out to them, and you hope the community stands behind them,” Arnold said.

Here is U.S. Steel’s statement on its decision to idle the Granite City facility:

U. S. Steel has indefinitely idled Granite City’s primary operations and will meet customer demand by leveraging the Company’s active iron and steelmaking facilities. This action was taken in order to help ensure melt capacity is balanced with our order book. Accordingly, the Company has sent the required notices to employees who potentially may be affected. We thank our employees for their contributions and will keep them informed throughout this process.


Never Miss A Story

Get our Weekly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.
Cookie policy
We use our own and third party cookies to allow us to understand how the site is used and to support our marketing campaigns.

Hot daily news right into your inbox.