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Some U.S. Steel workers offered early retirement

| Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

U.S. Steel Corp. is offering a voluntary early retirement package to an undisclosed number of its non-union employees across the country.

The steelmaker says the move is part of its continuing effort to keep its costs in line with production levels and market conditions.

"Eligibility will be based on a combination age and of years of service," said John Armstrong, a spokesman at the company's Pittsburgh headquarters.

Armstrong declined to disclose details of the offer or the number of employees considered eligible. Packages detailing incentives involved were being distributed to those affected Monday and today, he said.

The company also isn't disclosing if it has a set a target for the number of employee cuts or say whether layoffs are a possibility if a target number is not met.

In November, U.S. Steel had 26,840 U.S.-based employees, including about 25 percent not represented by unions.

But it announced two rounds of layoffs: the first, on Nov. 13, affected about 500 workers, including about 78 at two Mon Vallley Works plants, Edgar Thomson in Braddock and Irvin in West Mifflin. On Dec. 2, the company announced about 3,500 layoffs at out-of-state mines and mills as part of a plan to temporarily consolidate steel production at its Mon Valley Works and mills in Indiana, Alabama and Ontario.

Armstrong also would not estimate how many of the company's 1,970 headquarters employees in Pittsburgh or additional non-union personnel at the company's production facilities in the region would be eligible for the early retirement offer.

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