Make us your home page

Gerdau Ameristeel to lay off mill workers, executives

Girding for a continued downturn in construction, Tampa steelmaker Gerdau Ameristeel is laying off an unspecified number of workers at mills across the country.

"They want to be able to rightsize against what is a pretty steep decline in demand," company spokesman Ramiro Prudencio said Monday.

Steel demand began to slow in September, and the company has forecast weak demand in 2009.

Gerdau employs about 400 in Tampa. Asked if any higher-level executives were included in the cuts, Prudencio said, "This affects the organization at all levels, so you can assume yes." Another company spokesman, Santiago Fittipaldi, said a decision on whether there will be cuts in Tampa has yet to be made.

Mario Longhi, Gerdau president and chief executive officer, and other Tampa executives were not available for comment.

None of the company's 19 mills in the United States and Canada will be closed. Gerdau has about 11,000 employees, about 60 percent of them working at its mills.

Gerdau did not specify where jobs were cut, but news reports in Calvert City, Ky., Wilton, Iowa, and Whitby, Ontario, confirmed mills in those cities were affected. The company's sole Florida mill is in Jacksonville.

Steel prices have tumbled recently amid the economic contraction. Last week, Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel said it would temporarily idle three facilities and lay off 3,500 workers.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at or (727) 893-8242.

Gerdau Ameristeel to lay off mill workers, executives 12/08/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 8, 2008 10:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena


    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  2. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend,' Jimmy Patronis, as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches


    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy


    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  5. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.