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U.S. STEEL SHUTDOWN- THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

BREAKING NEWS: March 3, 2009

U.S. Steel Canada is completely shutting down its Hamilton plant and will close most of its Lake Erie operations, the Spectator has learned.

The move is believed to be temporary and driven by slumping demand in the steel sector. Union leaders say they were notified of the plan by company officials at about 3 p.m.

"It's devastating for the community," said Bill Ferguson, leader of the United Steelworkers union in Lake Erie. "For the local people this will be quite a blow. This plant, Lake Erie, has never shut down in its history."The move could affect 2,100 workers although the precise total is not yet known.
The company has already laid off close to 700 of its 1,700 hourly workers in Hamilton, where it shut down its blast furnace in November.

The remaining operations at the plant, including its steel finishing lines and coke ovens, will now be closed as well, said Rolf Gerstenberger, president of the United Steelworkers union at the plant.

All operations at Lake Erie Works, except for the coke ovens, will also close.

"The only information I have is that this plant will close down due to a lack of orders," Ferguson said.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel would not comment on the closures.

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