The steel company Gerdau, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, has announced plans to idle the melt shop at its Cambridge, Ontario, steel mill complex.
Philip Bell, a spokesman for the company, says Gerdau will taper off its melt shop operations during the next several weeks. Gerdau expects the melt shop to be idle until the end of the year at least, Bell says, though the company will continue to monitor market conditions to determine if a restart is warranted.
The company says it expects a total of 100 employees to be laid off as a result of the idling.
According to Gerdau, “Due to the slower than expected economic recovery and the impact of imports, the company has decided to shift billet production from its smaller melt shop at the Cambridge, Ontario, mill to its larger melt shop in Whitby, Ontario, which has the capacity to produce enough billets for both mills under current market conditions. The Cambridge rolling mill will continue operating with billets supplied from Whitby.”
The company adds, “Staffing level adjustments are expected to take place over the next several weeks as the company applies the provisions in its collective bargaining agreement and evaluates available job opportunities at the Cambridge and Whitby mills. We will continue to make our full range of products and work closely with customers to ensure their requirements are met.”
In related news, Gerdau also has idled its auto shredder in Buffalo, N.Y. Bell says the facility will continue to take in material from peddlers and other sources, however.
In deciding to idle the shredder, Gerdau says it continuously analyzes the marketplace as well as the company’s production capabilities and the most cost effective alternatives to meet the current and future customer needs.
Gerdau adds, “Since the Buffalo yard will continue to operate as a collection point for its mega shredder in Whitby, Ontario, the impact to Buffalo suppliers will be minimal.”