The situation facing the company is “complicated”, a US Steel Kosice (USSK) spokesman said, but the move is necessary, largely because of intense competition from imported steel.
“We [have seen] extremely high volumes of products being sold at dumped prices in Europe in recent months,” the spokesman said in a December 28 email to Metal Bulletin sister publication AMM.
Cutting the work week is a “responsible way […] to react to the situation in the steel business”, he said.
The four-day work week will begin in January, and workers will receive 60% of their average wage for the day the mill is closed.
US Steel is restructuring its flat rolled steel operations in the USA and in Slovakia amid a surge in imports and a global steel market downturn.
European steelmakers, like their counterparts in the USA and Mexico, need to seek government protection from a “downpour of dumped material”, US Steel president and ceo Mario Longhi said in an interview with Steel First earlier this year.
But trade cases in Europe are a more “complicated affair” than those in the USA, according to Longhi, because before action can be taken they require more parties in more countries agreeing on what trade remedies are necessary.
US Steel has invested heavily in USSK since acquiring the company in 2000, giving it a strong position in several markets, including automotive steel.
This report was first published by American Metal Market