U.S. Steel, Which Helped America’s ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ Defeat Japan in WWII, Sold to Japanese Company

The U.S. Steel Corp. Edgar Thomson Works steel mill in Braddock, Pennsylvania, U.S., on We
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

The United States Steel Corporation, which played a critical role in helping the Allies defeat Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany in World War II, is now being sold to Japan’s largest steelmaker.

Early on Monday, executives with U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel Corporation announced the nearly $15 billion deal, which vows to uphold the U.S. Steelworkers’ (USW) labor contract and will be completed mid-2024, though shareholders for U.S. Steel must still give their stamp of approval.

Following news of the deal, USW President David McCall blasted the decision as “the same greedy, shortsighted attitude that has guided U.S. Steel for far too long.”

“We remained open throughout this process to working with U.S. Steel to keep this iconic American company domestically owned and operated, but instead it chose to push aside the concerns of its dedicated workforce and sell to a foreign-owned company,” McCall said in a statement:

Neither U.S. Steel nor Nippon reached out to our union regarding the deal, which is in itself a violation of our partnership agreement that requires U.S. Steel to notify us of a change in control or business conditions. [Emphasis added]

Based on this alone, the USW does not believe that Nippon understands the full breadth of the obligations of all our agreements, and we do not know whether it has the capacity to live up to our existing contract. This includes not just the day-to-day commitments of our labor agreement, but also significant obligations to fund pension and retiree insurance benefits that are the most extensive in the domestic steel industry. [Emphasis added]

The sale of U.S. Steel, which was founded in 1901 by Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Charles Schwab, to Nippon is significant as the steelmaker served a critical role in the nation’s “Arsenal of Democracy” during WWII.

Among several American companies that helped the Allies defeat the Axis Powers, which included Imperial Japan, U.S. Steel made the U.S. the world’s largest steel producer during the war with Pennsylvania becoming the nation’s steel capital.

This woman kneels as she runs the machine that cuts armor plate for America’s tanks at the Gary Works of the Carnegie-Illinois steel mill. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Worker working on Fifty-Foot Steel Ramp Boat, Higgins Industries, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, Howard R. Hollem for Office of War Information, July 1942. (GHI/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

McCall noted the national security implications that come with U.S. Steel being owned by a foreign company, suggesting the USW will ask federal regulators to review Nippon’s acquisition.

“Our union intends to exercise the full measure of our agreements to ensure that whatever happens next with U.S. Steel, we protect the good, family-sustaining jobs we bargained,” McCall said. “We also will strongly urge government regulators to carefully scrutinize this acquisition and determine if the proposed transaction serves the national security interests of the United States and benefits workers.”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.


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