For Steelers Fans

Did you see this from AP?

CLAIRTON, Pa. (AP) – It’s only natural that Pittsburgh-area steelworkers would want to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

But a U.S. Steel memo says workers in the Clairton, Irvin and Edgar Thomson mills who miss work Sunday or Monday “without just cause” will face “severe disciplinary action.”

The United Steelworkers union has criticized the memo. A U.S. Steel spokeswoman tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the company doesn’t comment on employee relations.

The newspaper says USW International vice president Tom Conway responded to the memo with an e-mail – in black-and-gold type, the Steelers’ colors – that suggested adjusting schedules so volunteers who don’t want to watch the game can work during it. Conway suggested lost production during Sunday’s 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift could be made up later.

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  • DRT

    Yes, I saw that. I must say that I am torn. I do understand the substantial fixed cost of a steel mill and know they need to keep it going, but the Steelers are a bit more than just a sports team in Pittsburgh.

    In the end I side with the mill. Allowing absences for things like this is what made the mills uncompetitive in the first place inevitably leading to job losses due to global competition.

  • Seriously? We can’t take 6-7 hours off for some recreation?!?! B/c if we do we will lose to global competition?!?! Sounds like we’re in Egypt making steel bricks.

  • DRT

    Adam, unfortunately the Chinese are not taking off for the Steeler game, and that is where the steel making went when it left Pittsburgh.

    Many of the people in my neighborhood worked in the Steel Mill while I was growing up. It is sad to see the middle class disappear like that.

  • DRT

    Here is a piece of the sad reality from Wikipedia:

    The downtown area is the remnant of a once thriving shopping district, while the residential areas are the remains of housing built for Clairton Works employees. The collapse of the steel industry left a large portion of the population jobless, and large parts of the city have descended into poverty and crime. The city lacks the funding to carry out the demolition of condemned buildings, so empty storefronts and abandoned houses plague the area. Local groups have tried to encourage recovery, but have been unsuccessful due to lack of funding or interest.

    These are not steel bricks, they are bread and meals for their family.

  • Jeremy

    I would be interested in seeing the cost associated with idling a steel mill for a few hours. I think blast furnaces are exorbitantly expensive and time consuming to start and stop.