U.S. Steel Chief Executive Officer Mario Longhi recently said the steel industry could bring back 10,000 to 15,000 jobs because of improving market conditions, and the company announced it would restart the hot strip mill at Granite Works and invest in the one in Gary Works.
But the company's tubular operations aren't benefiting from the newfound optimism of U.S. Steel executives.
U.S. Steel recently notified the United Steelworkers it would permanently close the No. 4 Seamless Pipe Mill at its Lorain Tubular Operations in Ohio and the No. 1 Electric-Weld Pipe Mill at Lone Star Tubular Operations in Lone Star, Texas.
"These proposed actions are strategic decisions for the company after considering a number of factors, including challenging market conditions for tubular products, reduced rig counts, and unfairly traded imports," spokeswoman Erin DiPietro said.
U.S. Steel laid off 50 union steelworkers in April 2015 when it idled the Lorain pipe mill, which makes seamless tubular products with outside diameters ranging from 1.9 inches to 5.5 inches. The steelmaker laid off 70 union steelworkers in March 2016, when it idled the Lone Star Electric-Weld Mill that makes electric-resistance welded tubular products.
Tubular was once a huge money-maker for U.S. Steel, but has been struggling since crude oil prices crashed.