Evraz North America initiated a second round of layoffs after issuing 65 workers adjustment and retraining notifications on June 8 at its Portland plate rolling plant.
The layoffs are attributed to continuing economic challenges and decreasing product demand, Patrick Waldron, director of communications, told Davis Index. Layoffs will begin this week and continue through June and July depending on order fulfillment needs. The flat product operations at the Portland plant, the only plate mill on the US West Coast, will continue despite the reduced workforce.
The company laid off 230 workers at the Portland plant in April as it idled its spiral mill segment. The plate mill’s workforce will be reduced to around 300 employees—almost half of what it used to be before the pandemic—after the second round of layoffs.
In the Americas, Evraz has also scaled back employees at its Rocky Mountain Steel Mill in Colorado since April. The Russian company laid off 1,000 employees in Regina, Canada for almost a week in March because of a ransomware IT attack.
However, Fitch Ratings affirmed Evraz’s long-term issuer default rating and senior unsecured debt instrument rating at BB+ this week.
Fitch stated that the forecast indicates that the capital expenditure reductions undertaken by the steelmaker in response to the steel market downturn, could help maintain neutral free cash flow over the next three years. Earnings are expected to be considerably lower in 2020 due to weaker steel prices compounded by weaker steel demand as economies recover from COVID-19. Stronger steel sales are expected in 2021 and 2022.
Evraz’s global operations include North America, Russia, Western and Eastern Europe, and South Africa.