National Grid is jeopardizing the safety of our communities by locking out 1,100 of its most experienced employees who are critical to ensuring safe and quality gas work in Massachusetts.

There is some confusion regarding the WARN notice for our plant posted on the webpage. The site shows approximately 650 represented employees affected by layoff. Please understand, the Company was required to issue a WARN notice when they began layoffs in April. The notice has been amended due to the running total of layoffs effecting more than 500 employees (most of those affected have already been recalled) and in light of several salary layoffs which were converted to terminations. The state requires this information due to the draw on unemployment.

In the past few weeks, we have been conducting shop meetings in Coke, Iron Producing, Steel Making and the Hot Mill to address questions and concerns regarding current issues. We will continue to hold meetings in the upcoming weeks with Finishing, Plate Mill and MEU.

As many of you are aware, we had an incident in Iron Producing yesterday. We are still in the process of gathering information. We are extremely fortunate there were no injuries stemming from this event.

Resulting from yesterday’s incident there were numerous videos and pictures posted on social media. Please familiarize yourself with the Company’s camera and recording policy. It is important to remember social media is a very powerful tool and we should always make every effort to use it wisely.

Although we are in the midst of the final stage of reopening Indiana, we are still experiencing COVID-19 cases within the plant. Most recently, a contractor in Iron Producing was confirmed to be positive.  Management is contacting those who may have been in close contact, which is defined as less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes per the CDC. If you believe you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you may get tested by setting up an appointment at one of the local testing sites and your results may be read online.

As we approach the close of the second week of June, we are another step closer to the full re-opening of Indiana. We continue to see our Brothers and Sisters called back to work and we are on track for a slow and gradual recovery. However, there are still hurdles we will need to overcome in the consumer market. While price increases have been positive for us, the lay-offs in the automotive industry lasted longer than originally expected, which will more than likely reflect a slow customer demand.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we have witnessed many ups and downs. As we continue to emerge from under the weight of this pandemic, we must be diligent in our efforts for a safe and healthy environment, not only here but at home as well. We are slowly starting to see positive signs for our plant. Several of our Brothers and Sisters are being recalled and the Company will be implementing interim incentive plans in areas having outages in the near future.

As indicted in a previous update, we have been notified by the International that pre-arbitration hearing discussions have begun. We have a conference call scheduled for mid-June to determine how the arbitration will take place, either via video conference or in person. We have made Duneland Falls available to accommodate this arbitration considering traditional venues are not fully operational at this time.

This week, Hot Band and Plate prices have increased. Hopefully, these increases will stabilize the market and encourage customers to place orders. Again, this does not mean that we are out of the woods. In some areas of the mill employees are being recalled while other areas such as the Sinter Plant, CHTL and those who have been displaced into the plant wide labor pool are suffering reductions in workforce. As the automotive industry continues to ramp up, there have been COVID-19 cases which caused the assembly plant in Chicago to shut down for several hours, just one day after opening.