FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik / IPB News

ArcelorMittal announced it’s selling several northwest Indiana steel plants to an Ohio-based company in a deal worth nearly $1.5 billion. The sale was motivated by a need to please investors after a year of losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Steel will pay a $600,000 civil penalty and $630,000 to reimburse various federal agencies for costs and damages after one of its plants discharged wastewater containing a potentially carcinogenic chemical into a tributary of Lake Michigan, federal and state officials said Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department said those terms are contained in a consent decree filed Monday in federal court in which U.S. Steel promised to take steps to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Indiana law.

A steel coil is rolled out and slit to various widths for different customers at Mill Steel. (FILE PHOTO: Annie Ropeik/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

President Donald Trump’s 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs are designed to make U.S. workers more competitive in the international economy. That could have a big impact on a manufacturing-heavy state like Indiana.

Q&A: Steel & Aluminum Tariffs Start Friday, Will Have Mixed Impact On Indiana

Mar 21, 2018
Barbara Brosher / WTIU/WFIU

New tariffs on imported steel and aluminum are set to take effect Friday, and experts say Indiana will see both benefits and costs.

(THE CONVERSATION) President Donald Trump has been promising to save American manufacturing, and the steel industry in particular, since the presidential campaign. His attempt to follow through on that promise was the March 8  tariff increase on foreign steel and aluminum, arguing that the tariffs were necessary to protect U.S. industries and workers.

Trump joins a long line of presidents, both Republican and Democrat, who have used trade policy in an attempt to create or protect jobs – almost always in vain.

Steelworkers from around the country were in D.C. this week to ask Congress to strengthen its support for the domestic steel industry.

Among them was Billy McCall, who’s worked at U.S. Steel’s huge Gary Works mill for more than 20 years.

He and other United Steelworkers union members talked with federal representatives this week about an ongoing trade investigation into the effect of excess Chinese steel imports on national security.

McCall says that’s about not just defense, but infrastructure and people.

Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto show draws car enthusiasts from across the country to see the latest trends and innovations, Lakeshore Public Radio's Steven Lattimore takes shows us how innovations in steel manufacturing means a better future for steel workers in Northwest Indiana.

A Minnesota steel company is spending almost $9 million dollars to grow its operations at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor, as state officials say they’ll prioritize Indiana ports and infrastructure investment in 2017.

Ratner Steel Supply plans to double the size of its four-year-old operations in Portage, just east of Gary.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says Ratner will add a few dozen jobs and expand its ability to ship steel across the Region.


Nov 21, 2016

A judge has thrown out an antitrust claim against China by U.S. Steel. It’s the latest twist in the Northwest Indiana steel giant’s months-long bid to ban Chinese steel imports:

International Trade Commission administrative judge Dee Lord rejected the Pittsburgh-based company’s antitrust complaint against China. But it’s not the only trade case that U.S. Steel has in the works with the ITC.

A steelworker was killed at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works plant last week on September 30th. It’s the second death there this year, it comes amid rising tensions over safety.

Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows 28 primary metal manufacturing workers were killed on the job across the country in 2014. Two of those were in Indiana, about average for the past few years.

Sharon Jackson / Lakeshore Public Radio

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Baron Hill has won the endorsement of the United Steel Workers Local 1066.

At a rally Monday announcing the endorsement, Mike Millsap, District Director of the United Steelworkers said the local is supporting Hill because of his positions on issues.

Hill says strong labor unions is what built the middle class in this country and they must be protected.

ArcelorMittal Gets 10-Year-Deal

Jun 21, 2016

Chris Nolte spoke with Northwest Indiana Times reporter Joseph Pete regarding ArcelorMittal’s new 10-year-deal that will bring business to its East Chicago steel mill.

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal, whose largest North American mill is in Indiana Harbor, is introducing a new high-strength steel for cars. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Annie Ropeik reports, it’s part of an effort to boost profits — amid an uncertain time for the industry.

The new steel is designed for the interior rails and pillars that make cars safer during a crash. A spokesperson from Arcelor, which is the world’s largest steel producer by volume, says it should make cars lighter and cheaper to produce when it’s rolled out next year.

WKBN-TV, Youngstown OH

A group of northwest Indiana steelworkers were on Capitol Hill last week, protesting the TPP.  Medill News Service reporter Kristen Vake talked with a few of the protestors, and filed this report.

Sharon Jackson / Lakeshore Public Radio

U.S. President candidate Hillary Clinton is touring Indiana ahead of the May 3rd primary and made a stop in Northwest Indiana.

She visited Munster Steel in Hammond on Tuesday afternoon (4/26) where she discussed her support for the steel industry and protecting the middle class.

Clinton aims to reward companies for investing in America and collect from the ones who reap the benefits of tax breaks and then leave.

ArcelorMittal and the United Steelworkers union reached a tentative bargaining agreement, ending eight months of talks. The union announced the pact to its members in a bargaining update on its website on Wednesday. If ratified, the contract runs until Sept. 1st, 2018.

No contract details were divulged but the union said the agreement “preserves our economic security and other contractual protections.” Union officials called it a “fair agreement” that balances the need of management to save money, while maintaining a standard of living for union workers.

Washington, DC – Congressional Steel Caucus Chairman Tim Murphy and Vice Chairman Peter J. Visclosky have called on President Obama to utilize the newly enacted trade remedy laws.

The steel industry has changed considerably over the last 30 years.  It leaves many wondering about the future of working in the field.

As part of Lakeshore Public Radio’s “Steel on the Lakeshore” series, Lakeshore reporter Sharon Jackson talked with Purdue University Calumet Economics professor Paul McGrath about what’s changed in steel and McGrath says subcontracting is among the big changes.

Steel is still a giant field in Northwest Indiana, but the industry is also looking at other parts of the world at which the local workforce can do the work required to make quality products.

As part of Lakeshore Public Radio’s “Steel on the Lakeshore” series, Lakeshore reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Purdue University Calumet Economics professor Paul McGrath as part of Lakeshore Public Radio’s “Steel on the Lakeshore” series.

ArcelorMittal is not an American company.  The organization has steel plants all over the world and could locate their operations anywhere they want to, but there are some benefits the company reaps producing in the United States.

Purdue University Calumet Economics professor Paul McGrath spoke with Reporter Sharon Jackson on the future job viability of the steel industry in Northwest Indiana and the United States,  as part of Lakeshore Public Radio’s quarterly issues reporting collaborative, “Steel on the Lakeshore.”

The steel industry has faced several issues recently, including the large tariffs imposed on imported steel due to unfair trade practices.

Purdue University Calumet Economics professor Paul McGrath shared his analysis on the viability of the industry here in Northwest Indiana.

Lakeshore Public Radio’s Sharon Jackson spoke with McGrath about the industry and where it’s going as part of Lakeshore Public Radio’s “Steel on the Lakeshore” Quarterly Issues reporting collaborative.

Much of the news about the Northwest Indiana steel industry focuses these days on improving output and reduced overseas steel “dumping,” thanks to recent tariff increases and other action taken on Capitol Hill.  Times of Northwest Indiana business reporter Joseph Pete talked about these topics, and the Region’s steel industry in general, recently on “Regionally Speaking.”  Pete started with the news of an increase in steel output.

Coal Camp USA

Tyrone Ridgell has made Inland steel his home for over 30 years.  It was not easy to get a job and keep a job as a black man at inland steel but he made it. After retiring  he looks back and says over all been,it was a great experience working at the steel mill. It allowed him to provide a great standard of living for him and his family.

Visclosky: Trade is Steel Industry’s Greatest Obstacle

Feb 16, 2016

The Steel Industry in Northwest Indiana has seen better days. The Steelworkers Union and Manufactures are still in the midst of contract negotiations. The price of steel has been decreasing, resulting in massive layoffs that have dealt a serious blow to the regions steel workforce. Congressman Pete Visclosky, who serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Steel Caucus, spoke with Lakeshore Public Radio’s Dan Clark about the industry’s current problems as well as what is holding the once booming industry back.

A Hard Time in the Mills

Feb 11, 2016

As part of our examination of the steel industry we have been talking to African Americans some of whom have worked in the steel mills of northwest Indiana for almost 40 years. They tell stories of struggle against tremendous odds about becoming part of the middle class and all that means, most specifically being able to give their families a better life which is after all very Americans story.