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Layoffs hit home

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Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, 12:41 a.m.
 

U.S. Steel on Friday announced it is laying off 142 workers at its McKeesport Tubular Operations pipe production facility.

The steelmaker said a high level of tubular imports has affected business conditions in a way to necessitate the cutback.

Ninety-five employees will remain at the McKeesport facility following the layoffs.

“This is disheartening, not only to the employees but to the city as a whole,” McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said. “We are keeping our fingers crossed that this is a temporary layoff.”

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Courtney Boone said the company could not speculate on the duration of the layoffs or future business decisions. She said workers would be notified at the facility and that the United Steelworkers union has been notified.

Boone would not say how the move would affect the production schedule at the plant, part of Regional Industrial Development Corp. of Southwestern Pennsylvania's Riverplace Industrial Center of McKeesport, off Lysle Boulevard. The McKeesport plant produces welded pipe for above-ground applications.

The steel company made every effort to maintain employment levels at the operation but had to adjust the workforce to match production, according to company officials.

U.S. Steel took over operations of the facility in May 2011. Prior to that, a U.S. Steel spinoff company, Camp-Hill Corp., had operated the plant for 20 years. Camp-Hill was the last vestige of a complex that began with the National Tube Works in 1872 and covered the Monongahela River shore until 1987.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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