I’m going to beat this topic into the ground a little bit, because these kinds of policies, even more than the “sexy” stuff like the border wall, were why I voted for Trump:
U.S. Steel last week said week it would fire up one of its two dormant furnaces at its Granite City mill and start filling 500 jobs, calling back to work many of the roughly 1,500 employees it had laid off just over two years ago. Some expect to return to work as soon as this week, fueling optimism amid a backdrop of anxiety in U.S. manufactring over tariffs on imported steel and aluminum President Donald Trump imposed Thursday.
The enthusiasm in Granite City stands in contrast to pessimism about the tariffs elsewhere and warnings of a global trade war.
Other steelworkers were similarly elated to hear their plant was again hiring. Union officials said many took on jobs at other manufacturers or distribution centers, positions they said could be more physically taxing and less safe for half the pay, and were ready to get back to work making steel.
Some steelworkers said they had faced a Catch-22: Firms were reluctant to hire laid-off steelworkers because they knew U.S. Steel could one day summon them back.
Others who didn’t find work struggled to make home and car payments, relying on food pantries, charity, unemployment and union benefits, steelworkers and union officials say. Union officials predicted many laid-off steelworkers and even some retirees would answer the call, given the benefits and pay.
Store owners share the optimism.
At Holt Shoe Shop, where business dropped about 25% after the layoffs sapped demand for work boots steelmakers are required to wear, owners Laura and Brian Smith are hoping a revenue boost will help them invest in their business. They may expand their reach with a “boot truck” to sell directly at worksites, grow their online presence and introduce new brands.