St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom issued the following statement on the closure:
“Today we learned that the Bayou Steel Group was closing its LaPlace Plant effective November 30, 2019. This will affect approximately 376 employees. The closure was not expected and the timing relative to the holidays is disappointing for everyone. We are obviously very concerned for the families involved and our community. The plant is a large employer in our Parish as well as a means of income for those bringing materials to the site. Based on feedback from some of the employees, many of them are devastated and unprepared. We are working with the Louisiana Workforce Commission and other state agencies to address this situation. Our collective goal is to develop a plan to assist those who were laid off in the near future. There is a conference call scheduled shortly and more information will be forthcoming.”
Gov. Edwards issued the following statement on the closure:
“The Louisiana Workforce Commission is working with the company, the parish president and elected officials to assist those employees who are directly impacted by today’s news. While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs. Louisiana is among the most dependent states on tariffed metals, which is why we continue to be hopeful for a speedy resolution to the uncertainty of the future of tariffs. Meanwhile, we will do everything within our power to help those displaced workers.”
A press conference was held on Wednesday afternoon, to update the public on the status of the company and employers.