PITTSBURGH, Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today urged Congress and the Trump administration to act immediately in the interest of saving TIMET's titanium sponge plant in Henderson, Nev., from permanent closure.
Last year, in a Section 232 investigation, the U.S. Department of Commerce concluded that without the Henderson facility, the country would be completely dependent on imports for titanium sponge and scrap and lack the surge capacity required to support defense and critical infrastructure needs in an extended national emergency.
TIMET announced on July 13 that it intended to idle the facility. The company has already begun ratcheting down operations and laying off workers. Another wave of 17 were laid off today.
"Americans already rely on foreign imports for too many necessities, such as surgical masks and other personal protective equipment," said USW District 12 Director Gaylan Prescott, "and we cannot risk our national security by depending on other countries to supply titanium for our military airplanes, helicopters and aerospace equipment."
Prescott said that if TIMET follows through on its plan to close Henderson, the U.S. would be forced to import sponge from the only six other countries with production capacity: China, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan or India.
"With so much more than jobs at stake, the USW will not allow TIMET to deprive our nation of this critical resource without a fight," Prescott said. "Before it's too late, President Trump and congressional leaders from both parties must take action to prevent compromising our national defense."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in manufacturing, metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
More information, contact: Bill Locke, 702-271-0029
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)