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Algoma Steel issues statement on auto worker strikes

About 25,000 UAW members are currently on strike in the United States
Algoma Steel plate mill (Company photo)

As the United Auto Workers (UAW) union ratchets up its strike activity against Detroit's Big 3 automakers, Algoma Steel has issued a statement on the situation.

"We are closely monitoring the evolving United Auto Workers union’s work stoppages at certain North American auto manufacturing facilities and the impact they are having on steel markets, including lower than expected realized pricing for recent steel shipments," said Michael Garcia, Algoma's chief executive officer.

"In the meantime, we expect to perform our normal annual steel-making vessel reline, along with other planned seasonal maintenance during the fiscal third quarter," Garcia said.

"On the electric arc furnace project, work has advanced as expected during the quarter, with additional scope committed and priced as we continue to de-risk the project and work towards our expectation of a late calendar 2024 commissioning."

About 30 per cent of Algoma Steel products go to the automotive sector.

About 25,000 UAW members are currently on strike, 7,000 of them ordered by UAW president Shawn Fain to walk off the job Friday at a Ford assembly plant in Chicago and a GM plant in Lansing, Michigan.

U.S. President Joe Biden joined picket lines this past week at a GM parts warehouse in the Detroit area.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump also travelled to the Motor City for a rally at a nonunion parts manufacturer.

In Canada, members of Unifor have accepted a contract with Ford Motor Co. of Canada

Oct. 9 at 11:59 p.m. has been set by Unifor as its deadline for contract talks with General Motors of Canada.

Garcia's comments were made as part of the Algoma CEO's guidance for the steelmaker’s fiscal second quarter ended Saturday.

Steel shipments during the quarter are expected to be in the range of 540,000 to 550,000 tons and adjusted EBITDA is predicted somewhere between $75 million and $85 million.

"Our operations have run in line with our expectations in the fiscal second quarter," Garcia said

"Our plate mill modernization project reached a key milestone, as we commenced cold commissioning and ran trial plates through our heavy gauge inline shear.

"Hot commissioning continues and an expected ramp towards higher plate production is planned for the end of the calendar year," he said.

- SooToday