This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 9, 2015:
In a letter to his union workers at U.S. Steel’s pipe and tube plant in Lorain, Ohio, Tom McDermott, president of United Steelworkers local 1104, was blunt:
The company has suddenly lost a great deal of business because of the recent downturn in the oil industry. What appeared just a few short weeks ago as being a productive year … has most abruptly turned sour.
So sour that U.S. Steel is idling 614 or its 700 workers in Lorain, along with all 142 of its workers in its Houston, Texas plant.
This is likely to be just the beginning. Even as U.S. Steel poured hundreds of millions into its gamble that producing “oil country tubular goods,” or OCTG, would reverse years of losses, other steel makers have done the same: