The owner of a coal-fired ironmaking business in the heart of Chicago said Monday that the U.S. government is using the “wrong tactics” to respond to the firestorm over its use of cheap imported coal.
Ironmaking is one of the most profitable businesses in Chicago, but the state’s iron shortage has led to high prices and an ongoing trade dispute.
Chicago’s mayor said Monday the city will not sell or rent coal for firefighting, a move that would have a ripple effect on the industry.
The Ironman Chicago, a group of companies based in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood, said it will cease to operate its Chicago Ironworks and other ironworks in the area because of the fire.
Ironmaker Jim Rucker said he’s been told the government is looking to target his business.
He’s a member of the United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents ironmakers and has called for the government to take action to prevent further damage.
“This is a huge blow for Chicago’s ironworkers and for the city of Chicago,” Rucker, the founder of the Ironman organization, said in a statement.
“We’ve always been a leader in promoting economic development and job creation.”
The Ironmans, located on the north side of Chicago, have about 20 employees and are among the citys largest employers.
They’ve been operating since 1978.
Rucker said the U