U.S. Steel Corp. is recalling around 900 laid-off steelworkers to resume production in Ontario and Illinois. The company assigned about 175 workers in Hamilton, Ontario, to resume production of coking coal, which is necessary for steelmaking. Another 600 will be recalled this summer. In November, the company laid off approximately 800 workers at the Hamilton plant. In addition, U.S. Steel has called back 100 workers to restart one of two blast furnaces at the company’s Granite City, Ill., operations.

The Granite City plant has an agreement to receive steam and coke from nearby Gateway Energy & Coke. With Gateway still under construction, coke produced in Hamilton is expected to be sent south of the border. U.S. Steel has been under pressure from the Canadian government to fulfill a set of commitments it made when it bought the former Stelco. Those promises included maintaining employment levels.