Douglas said there are about 1,750 union workers and that number changes almost daily with new hires, retires and those who quit.
Cleveland-Cliffs, which purchased AK Steel for $1.1 billion in 2020, is adjusting its wages and health care trying to attract more employees, according to Douglas.
Through the use of significant amounts of hot briquetted iron in its blast furnaces and the adoption of natural gas injection, Cleveland-Cliffs has “consistently reduced our reliance on coke,” said Patricia Persico, director of corporate communications
She said the oven is idling “pending further evaluation.”
The company bought the U.S. assets of ArcelorMittal for $1.4 billion last year, making it the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, officials said.
On Monday, Cleveland-Cliffs announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ferrous Processing and Trading (FPT), for a total enterprise value of approximately $775 million.
Based in Detroit, FPT is among the largest processors and distributors of prime ferrous scrap in the United States, representing approximately 15% of the domestic merchant prime scrap market, according to Cliffs. FPT processes approximately three million tons of scrap per year, approximately half of which is prime grade.
FPT operates 22 scrap processing facilities, with approximately 90% of revenues originating from its Midwest locations, primarily in Michigan and Ohio.
“Cleveland-Cliffs is entering the scrap business as a major player through the acquisition of a large scrap company,” said Lourenco Goncalves, president and CEO of Cliffs. “Even more importantly, FPT has a very meaningful presence in prime scrap.”
The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of Cleveland-Cliffs and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, the company said.
The company will discuss the acquisition in further detail on its third-quarter 2021 earnings conference call at 10 a.m. Oct. 22.