USW Welcomes U.S. Steel Plan to Restart EAF Construction

CONTACT:   R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450,

PITTSBURGH (February 11) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today welcomed the announcement from U.S. Steel that it would restart construction of an electric arc furnace (EAF) at its facility in Fairfield, Ala.

“The USW is pleased to have finally concluded an agreement with U.S. Steel to build a new EAF,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “This decision paves the way for a solid future in continuing to make steel in Alabama and the Birmingham region.”

The company said it would invest approximately $215 million and add about 150 employees at the plant. The EAF is expected to have an annual capacity of 1.6 million tons.

“This is an important step forward for the current employees making world-class pipe, and it will further result in additional jobs,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who serves as chair of the union’s U.S. Steel bargaining committee. “Restoring a hot end at the plant is essential to maintaining and growing good union jobs in Fairfield.”

The USW in October reached a new four-year contract with U.S. Steel covering about 16,000 workers at the company’s facilities across the United States, including Fairfield.

“The USW operates EAF furnaces at many of our represented plants across the country, and we look forward to starting up another new furnace and delivering top-quality products for our customers,” said Kevin Keys, president of USW Local 1013, which represents the Fairfield workers.

The company said construction was expected to begin immediately and that the furnace would be producing steel by the second half of 2020.

“This re-establishes steelmaking again in the valley and ensures the future of the plant. It’s a very welcome development,” said Daniel Flippo, director of USW District 9, which represents Alabama and six other states, as well as the Virgin Islands. 

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  
For more information:


Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222