GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) – A tentative contract agreement between U.S. Steel Corp. and the United Steelworkers union won’t prevent the company from temporarily shutting down its Granite City plant.

Local union official Dave Dowling tells the Belleville News-Democrat that the preliminary deal announced Saturday won’t affect the planned idling of the St. Louis-area plant, which employs about 2,000 workers.

Layoffs are due to begin Sunday, two days after Christmas. The company had planned to idle the plant in March but instead chose to cut 80 jobs.

A similar shutdown in 2009 left Granite City steel workers out of work for seven months.

Details of the three-year contract agreement, which still must be ratified, have not been released.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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