Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOX) – U.S. Steel says it is planning to “temporarily” idle its Granite City Works operations, a move that would impact over 2,000 workers.

United Steelworkers Sub District 2 Director of District 7 Dave Dowling tells KMOX News the union has been notified that the plant will be temporarily shut down in 60 days, unless market conditions improve.

This is in addition to the previously announced shutdown of the plant’s coke-making facility. That facility has already ceased operations, and Dowling says its workers will be let go April 13.

Dowling says while the company is planning a complete temporary shutdown, the union will try to keep at least some workers on the job.

“We’ll be talking to see if we can’t influence that decision to some extent, and maintain some operations,” he says.

Dowling says there’s no indication the “temporary” shutdown could become permanent.

“We have seen some capital investment in the Granite City facility recently, which is a very positive sign.”

U.S. Steel will continue operating its steel-making operations in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Dowling says he doesn’t know why Granite City was selected to close, but says it’s not the only plant impacted by poor market conditions.

He blames those conditions on the import of foreign steel that comes into the country at what he says are unfair prices.

“This announcement is going to cause tremendous anxiety within thousands of USW members’ families in this area. It’s devastating news. Let’s hope things turn around between now and the end of May,” Dowling says.

(TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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