A century old Steel company closing doors after 121 years citing environmental regulations, supply chain issues, retaining workers

Workers at Columbia Steel Casting Co.'s foundry in North Portland in an undated photo provided by the company. Columbia Steel Casting Co.

Revelations 18:23 ‘For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Portland foundry Columbia Steel to close after 121 years, lay off workers
  • Columbia Steel Casting Co., a Portland metal casting company that dates back more than a century, told state regulators Wednesday it plans to shut down operations at its North Portland foundry and lay off most of its workforce.
  • The company said 225 employees, many represented by three different unions, would be laid off beginning in October. The filing indicated the closure would be permanent, though a letter to employees indicated that the company was in talks with “various companies” about buying the foundry and maintaining operations.
  • CEO Martha Cox told employees that the company had faced fierce competition from overseas competitors, some of them subsidized by their governments. She said state and local environmental regulations had also put the company at a disadvantage to those competitors.
  • The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated the company’s issues, Cox said in the letter, with hang-ups in the global supply chain disrupting shipments to a key customer and travel restrictions putting a damper on sales.

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