Testimony of Mark Glyptis
President USW Local 2911
United States International Trade Commission
APRIL 11, 2012
Good morning. My name is Mark Glyptis, and I am President of United Steelworkers Local 2911 at ArcelorMittal’s mill in Weirton, West Virginia. I have been employed at the Weirton mill since 1973, and I am a third generation steelworker at Weirton. I have had the honor of representing the union steelworkers at Weirton as President of the local since 1991. I am here today to speak on behalf of the United Steelworkers employed at all of the domestic producers to urge you to maintain the antidumping duty order on tin mill products from Japan.
I am joined today by United Steelworkers from USW Local 9477 at the RG Steel tin mill plant, who traveled here today to support this case. I would ask them to please stand up and be recognized.
When I testified before you during the original investigation, I represented 3,100 workers who made a variety of steel products, including tin mill products. Today, we have fewer than 900 United Steelworkers at the Weirton mill, all of whom make tin mill products.
The Weirton steel mill that employed my grandfather, my father and me, literally is the heart of the city of Weirton, West Virginia. The main street of town actually runs through the middle of the mill. And if the mill is the heart of the town, the heart of the mill is made up of its workers. Those workers saved the mill in 1984 by buying it themselves when National Steel was going to shut the mill down permanently. Those employee-owners then invested more than $1 billion to create a world-class steel mill at Weirton.
When ISG bought the mill a decade ago, the workers again helped to save the mill by agreeing to new work rules, job reductions, and compensation and benefit reductions. Our retirees’ benefits were also cut to far less than what they earned and were promised for their lifetime of hard work and dedication to the mill.
At this moment, however, I am much more concerned about what we could lose at Weirton than what we have already lost. As I said, we make only one product line at Weirton – tin mill products. Those tin mill products are sold to only a very few customers. If the Japanese producers are permitted to sell dumped tin mill products in the United States again, tin mill production at Weirton will be seriously threatened.
Weirton Steel was the original petitioner in this case, and I was involved in the original investigation. I saw just how fast imports from Japan increased to take sales and market share from Weirton with low, dumped prices.
I saw first hand Japanese tin plate being unloaded at the sites of Weirton customers which were located on our property. It was shocking -- these customers were buying dumped Japanese tin plate delivered to their door for less than they could from Weirton Steel, located right on their doorstep.
ArcelorMittal has a world class mill at Weirton with one of the most highly trained, expert work forces in the production of tin mill products of any company in the world. The United Steelworkers have sacrificed and done everything possible to help ArcelorMittal make the Weirton mill as efficient and successful as possible, and we produce a great product.
But, if the antidumping duty order is revoked, I have no doubt that Japanese tin mill products will again rapidly return to the market. If that happens, the Weirton mill will have a bleak future ahead, and I fear that I will be among the last generation to be employed as a United Steelworker in Weirton.
The outlook is the same for my brother Steelworkers at other domestic producers of tin mill products. Recently, the RG tin mill plant at Sparrow’s Point in MD was idled and 260 United Steelworkers were laid off, including those who are joining us today. That plant may remain on idle for many more months, and shows just how vulnerable domestic tin mill producers are in this still recovering economy.
Please maintain the antidumping duty order on tin mill products from Japan.