GRANITE CITY, Il. — Another big local steel company is cutting back, and laying off 363 workers.
The Amsted Rail steel foundry will cut roughly half its work force next month, executives told the Madison County Employment and Training Department recently. The news comes just weeks after United States Steel Corp., the city's biggest employer, idled its massive Granite City Works. When that plant's 2,100 workers will be back on the job is unknown.
Amsted, formerly known as American Steel Foundries, is Granite City's third-largest employer, with about 750 workers, and it has been in the city since 1895. It melts steel and molds it into parts for railroad cars.
The layoffs will begin Feb. 16. The state and employees were notified now under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Steel plants have long been a big part of the economy in Granite City, and the industry, until recently, supplied an estimated $2 billion in wages in southwestern Illinois.
But steel companies in this area and elsewhere have been hurt as the recession has reduced demand for their products.