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U.S. Steel warns of 677 possible layoffs at Lone Star plant in Texas

U.S. Steel Corp. is warning 677 workers in Texas that they could be laid off as the Downtown-based steelmaker cuts production to deal with weak demand from the energy industry.

The company said it told workers at its Lone Star Tubular Operations that they could be temporarily laid off because oil and gas drillers are ordering fewer pipes. The company hasn’t set a date for layoffs to begin.

“This potential action is part of an ongoing adjustment to operations due to challenging market conditions, including fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts, depressed steel prices and unfairly traded imports,” spokeswoman Sarah Cassella wrote in an email. “All of these factors continue to reduce demand for tubular goods.”

U.S. Steel idled the Lone Star plant and other mills around the country last year as oil prices plunged, causing energy companies to cut drilling activity. But Lone Star since had returned to normal operating levels, Cassella said.

Oil prices have continued to drop since the beginning of the year, falling below $27 a barrel Wednesday.

US Steel’s stock price closed Wednesday down 11 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $7.10.

The company will report fourth-quarter financial results next week.

Alex Nixon is a Tribune-Reveiw staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7928 or [email protected].


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