U. S. Steel Permanently Closing Most Fairless Facilities

Aug 14, 2001, 01:00 ET from United States Steel LLC

    PITTSBURGH, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Steel LLC (NYSE:   X)
 announced today its intention to permanently close the remaining cold rolling
 and tin mill operations at Fairless Works in Fairless Hills near Philadelphia.
 The facilities are capable of producing approximately 1.5 million tons
 annually of cold rolled steel and tin mill products.
     Officials of the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), which represents
 most of Fairless Works' nearly 700 employees, were notified today of the
 company's intention to permanently close these facilities on or after
 November 12, 2001.  Almost 600 employees will be impacted.
     Under terms of its labor agreements, U. S. Steel is required to discuss
 the proposed shutdown with the USWA before making a final decision.
     The anticipated financial impact of the shutdown, which is predominantly
 noncash, will be recorded in the second half of 2001 and is estimated to be a
 pre-tax charge of $35 million to $45 million.
     The company's current intent, subject to market conditions, is to continue
 operating the hot dip galvanizing line as the plant's only remaining operating
     "This is a sad day for U. S. Steel, our Fairless Works employees and the
 communities surrounding Fairless Works," said Thomas J. Usher, chairman and
 chief executive officer of U. S. Steel's parent, USX Corporation.  "Fairless
 Works is a good facility with excellent people.  We have invested in upgrading
 our facilities here and have worked extremely hard with the union and our
 employees to make Fairless Works competitive.  However, the realities of
 today's marketplace, including the impact of unfairly traded imports, have
 compelled us to make this difficult decision.
     "Fairless Works is a clear example of the dramatic impact of unfair
 imports.  It is undeniable that the flood of imports, which began in 1998 and
 continues today, has severely injured the U.S. steel industry.  The best way
 to stop the hemorrhaging and preserve this vital industry is through an
 effective and comprehensive 201 trade remedy that provides a sustained period
 of steel import stability in the United States."
     Usher emphasized that production at Fairless would be phased out during
 the fourth quarter in such a way that U. S. Steel's other facilities will be
 able to provide reliable, continuous service to all current Fairless
     Ground was broken at Fairless Works on March 1, 1951, and production from
 what was then a fully integrated steel mill began on December 11, 1952.
 Facilities included two blast furnaces, nine open hearth furnaces, two coke
 batteries, an 80-inch hot strip mill, rolling mills, a sheet and tin
 department, a pipe mill and a vessel slip, all located on nearly 4,000 acres
 along the Delaware River.  Peak employment reached more than 8,000 in 1974.
     On August 8, 1991, the company closed the hot side of the plant and the
 pipe mill.  Since the import crisis of 1998, employment levels have fallen
 sharply and various plant facilities have operated on an irregular basis.
     When the majority of the plant was shut down in 1991, USX Realty
 Development was charged with redeveloping some 3,000 acres of property that
 was vacated.  "We've been very successful in attracting businesses to the USX
 Industrial Park in Fairless Hills," said Usher.  "To date, we've added
 32 tenants who employ 1,500 people.  These new businesses are improving the
 tax base for the area and providing new jobs to replace lost steelmaking jobs.
 We will continue to work to create new jobs for the region by packaging our
 properties into what we believe will be one of the most successful industrial
 parks in the northeastern United States."
     Visit USX Corporation's web site at http://www.usx.com.  USX Corporation
 press releases are available through Company News On-Call at
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SOURCE United States Steel LLC