By Dave Roberts
Six hundred and thirty-five employees at USS-POSCO Industries in Pittsburg may be laid off July 10, according to a warning notice the company filed with the California Employment Development Department. The potential, temporary layoffs, which were filed under the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification system, comprise the largest chunk of more than 3,000 layoffs filed by 42 California companies in May.
USS-POSCO filed the layoff notice on May 9 and it remains to be seen whether it goes through with the layoffs.
However, Kevin Romick, a manager at the Pittsburg plant said “It is my understanding that there are no layoffs that are imminent. The business conditions dictate we are required by law to post this type of letter if we anticipate laying off more than 50 people.”
“We’re hoping and expecting business to pick up,” he added.
The plant filed a similar notice 3½ years ago. At that time, George Kunst, general manager of employee relations for USS-POSCO, told the San Francisco Business Times, “We have issued a WARN notice on a periodic basis due to economic uncertainty. We have no immediate plans to lay off anybody. We have had periodic layoffs for the last several years.”
The company processes hot-rolled steel so that it can be used for items such as office furniture, building materials, containers, conduit and automotive parts, according to the article.
The first Pittsburg steel facility opened in 1910 as a 60-man foundry under the name of Columbia Steel. In the 1920’s, the plant expanded to include the West’s first nail mill, and later, the first hot dip tin mill west of the Mississippi, according to the company’s website. Today it’s a joint venture company of U.S. Steel Corporation and POSCO of the Republic of South Korea.
The company receives mixed reviews from employees on the Glass Door employment review site. Positive comments include good pay, benefits and interesting work environment. Negative comments include lack of work, unmotivated employees and unfair management. Under the “advice to management” category, one worker wrote, “Treat everybody the same. Quit trying to police everyone and pay attention to Quality and Preventive Maintenance. There’s a reason we went from number one to the bottom of the totem pole.”