U.S. Steel confirmed Wednesday that it is eliminating 25 percent of its North American nonunion workforce, citing depressed oil prices and other factors responsible for the steel industry’s stressed condition.
the company declined to disclose the number of positions being eliminated.
The Pittsburgh steel producer had 21,000 employees in North America as of Dec. 31. About 18,000 of them are represented by the United Steelworkers union, according to the company’s Feb. 1 statement announcing that union workers had ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement.
Workers losing their jobs are eligible for benefits under the company’s supplemental unemployment benefit program.
More layoffs are occurring at U.S. Steel’s mill in Kosice, Slovakia, the company said in an email. The scope of those cuts, which will affect management and blue collar workers, “will depend on operational and business needs,” according to the email.
The steelmaker had approximately 12,200 European employees at year-end.
The cost-cutting is the latest in a series of layoffs and jobs cuts that U.S. Steel has made in an effort to stem losses caused by declining oil prices, a crush of imports, and other factors that have crimped demand and reduced steel prices.
The company lost $1.5 billion last year and has only had one profitable year since 2009.