ArcelorMittal, the multinational steel manufacturer, will lay off 150 workers from its Conshohocken rolling mill, the company announced Tuesday.
“We are not closing the facility, we’re not idling the entire operation,” said spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford, adding that the India-owned, Luxembourg-headquartered company was consolidating its plate operations. Layoffs will begin within the next year. The Conshohocken plant will continue heat-treating, finishing and inspecting steel rolled by ArcelorMittal outposts in Coatesville and Burns Harbor, Ind.
The consolidation and layoffs were prompted by a limited demand for steel used to build bridges, ships and military equipment, “coupled by the ongoing surge of unfairly traded imports of steel,” Holford said.
In a statement, the president of the United Steelworkers called the layoffs “another direct blow to our national security.”
“Our soldiers deployed in harm’s way depend on products made in this facility in building Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, Bradley land systems and all Navy Seapower systems,” said USW president Leo W. Gerard.
The union blasted President Trump for failing to complete an investigation into the national-security impact of steel imports, claiming that the White House was stalling, treating steelworker jobs “as secondary to tax cuts for the rich and powerful” until Congress completes tax reform.
Arcelor Mittal’s spokeswoman said the layoffs would have “minimal impact” to customers of the company’s product line.