Strike Disruptions: ArcelorMittal May Cut Coal From JSW; BP Goes to the Mattresses

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Cold-rolled steel

Steel producer ArcelorMittal‘s Polish arm said on Wednesday it might reduce coal supplies from Polish miner JSW to limit the risk of delivery disruptions if workers’ protests at JSW recur, Reuters reported.

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Coal production has stopped at JSW as a result of a miners’ strike, which started on Jan.28, hitting ArcelorMittal, one of its biggest customers, which ceased to receive a significant chunk of supplies.

Meanwhile, US oil refinery managers are sleeping in trailers on recently purchased mattresses during the biggest fight with union workers in 35 years. The managers bedded down for a third strike week this weekend and experts and some employees say safety and operations could be compromised.

At the 135,000 barrel-per-day refinery just outside of Toledo, Ohio, run by BP Plc and Husky Energy Inc., most of the nearly 300-person staff have been calling the refinery home since Feb. 9. For the last week, they have slept on recently purchased mattresses inside rental trailers to rapidly respond to any problems and avoid striking workers, sources say.

The United Steelworkers strike is the largest against oil refiners since 1980.

In yet another strike, about 3,000 locomotive engineers and conductors at the Canadian Pacific Railway walked off the job Sunday morning in a dispute over wages and benefits.

Although the company said it would try to maintain some service by using managers, the strike is likely to disrupt major industries throughout North America, including automakers, oil companies, paper businesses, lumber suppliers and agriculture and mining companies.

In a news release issued immediately before the strike, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference suggested that disagreements on rest time and other scheduling issues had led to the breakdown in negotiations.

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