All over the North American continent, companies involved in steel production are feeling the pinch of poor economic times. Even factories that have operated for decades aren’t safe as the industry’s biggest names continue to rein in operations. Entire cities that have been built on the strength of the steel industry are being forced to face a future without these jobs.
Hamilton, a small city in the Canadian province of Ontario, is among the latest municipalities to say goodbye to a significant amount of steel manufacturing. In late October, U.S. Steel announced that blast furnaces and other steelmaking processes and equipment will be shuttered for good since the corporation idled them in 2010. Except for cokemaking and a few other smaller operations, the Hamilton steel mills will be shut down by December 31, according to this article published by TheSpec.com.
Many affected by the decision aren’t completely taken by surprise, even union officials who will now have to scramble to help former steel workers find new positions. “The only question I’ve had is, ‘What took so long?’” said Hamilton steel analyst Chuck Bradford. He mentioned that the Hamilton mill could only produce semi-finished steel, for which the market isn’t great.
Although the loss of operations isn’t a tremendous loss in terms of jobs, it signifies a major turning point for the entire Hamilton community. After bidding farewell to its last Canadian steel producer years ago, the city was hopeful that U.S. Steel and other large manufacturers would be able to fill the void. As those companies start to close up shop now, there’s no clear answer on whom, if anyone, can step in to keep the factories producing steel products.
Florida Pipe & Steel is well aware that steel companies from all over the world have to work harder to remain successful. If you have a large construction project that will require steel products, make sure to think about buying locally and supporting your regional business. We can take care of all of your steel pipe needs all around the U.S.