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Pisciottano: ‘Disappointed’ By U.S. Steel Deal

Local rep says incentives given to steel plants were ‘meant to create jobs, not record profits’

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
December 18, 2023
Posted in: State & Region

(File photo by Mark Dixon, licensed under CC-Attribution-2.0-Generic)

Related story: Steelworkers Blast U.S. Steel Sale to Japanese Firm

A state representative whose district includes U.S. Steel’s Irvin Plant said he was disappointed in the corporation’s decision to sell itself to Japan-based Nippon Steel for $55 per share.

“My chief concern is the future of steelmaking in the historic Steel Valley and the risk to direct and ancillary jobs that have employed generations in Allegheny County and the surrounding region,” said State Rep. Nick Pisciottano of West Mifflin.

“While I hope that any future ownership of plant assets recognize that we have the best workforce on the planet ready to manufacture the next generation of high-quality steel, I am concerned that we are seeing another round of offshoring that we will look back on with regret in the near future,” he said.

Irvin Plant, located near Dravosburg, rolls and treats steel slabs produced at U.S. Steel’s nearby Edgar Thomson Plant. Products produced by Irvin Plant include strip steel, sheet steel, coated steel and galvanized steel used in the appliance, automotive, metal building and home-construction industries.

Pisciotanno sits on several house subcommittees focused on issues concerned with commerce and labor and industry.

“I think it is worth asking how a corporation that was once the largest in the world and a symbol of the United States’ economic might has reached the point where it was willing to sell itself to foreign investors,” Pisciotanno said.

“As we work to bring good jobs back to America, it’s disheartening to see U.S. Steel’s leadership play both ends against the middle by taking support from taxpayer dollars while negotiating a deal to sell the company to foreign interests,” he said.

The United Steelworkers union also blasted the deal, valued at $14.9 billion, by Nippon Steel to acquire Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel. The union had backed a competing offer from Ohio-based Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

The acquisition has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors, but must be approved by a vote of each company’s shareholders.

The union’s president on Monday urged U.S. regulators to scrutinize the deal carefully, and said the Steelworkers will vigorously fight to protect current workers as well as pensions and insurance benefits for U.S. Steel retirees.

Pisciotanno said that state and federal incentives have been used for decades to boost the competitiveness of American manufacturing companies, including U.S. Steel.

“That money is meant to create family-sustaining jobs, not record profits for shareholders and golden parachutes for U.S. Steel executives, while leaving the local communities and steelworkers behind,” he said.

Pisciotanno vowed to fight for domestic manufacturing jobs. “What I will not tolerate is workers and their communities yet again being forced to endure the fear and uncertainty about their future when Wall Street and well-heeled executives devise a scheme to offshore our nation's productive capacity in the shortsighted pursuit of a short term profit,” he said.

Originally published December 18, 2023.

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