The workers of the largest steel producer in the U.S., United States Steel Corporation (X), are supporting a bid made by Lakeside Steel, a steel pipe and tubing manufacturer in Welland, Ontario to take over U.S. Steel’s Ontario production assets. U.S. Steel had acquired the Ontario assets when it bought Stelco Inc. for about $1.1 billion in 2007.

On August 5, 2009, Lakeside had filed for an intervener status in the federal government’s action against U.S. Steel. U.S. Steel had violated commitments for production and employment when it had temporarily shut down most of the Ontario operations in March this year due to weak steel demand. The company’s facilities are operating at barely half their capacity.

U.S. Steel’s production of 5 million tons in July 2009 was the highest monthly output this year, but it was 41.6% lower than July 2008. The company has laid off most of the workers at the site and has locked out the remaining unionized workers at Nanticoke this month after failing to reach a new labor deal.

Lakeside claimed that if it acquires U.S. Steel, it would comply with all its commitments on production and employment. The company hopes Canada’s Federal Court will force Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel to sell the Ontario assets.

Lakeside and the United Steel’s workers will submit their case at a Canadian Federal Court hearing in Toronto on August 31, 2009.
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