Laid-off steelworkers from bankrupt RG Steel who are set to lose their health and welfare benefits today may soon be getting a boost from the United Steelworkers.
United Steelworkers Local 1375 President Darryl Parker said Thursday that two meetings have been scheduled for Sept. 6 in which steelworkers will receive information on health care. The meetings will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Packard Music Hall.
Further details weren't immediately released.
The former RG Steel plant in Warren. Tribune Chronicle file photo
The announcement comes on the heels of a rally Wednesday by dozens of local steelworkers who gathered at the Warren plant's gate, hoping to draw attention to their health insurance plight and their hope that a buyer reopens the plant, which is said to be profitable.
More than 100 potential investors or entities have expressed interest during the bankruptcy process in the plants formerly operated by now-bankrupt RG Steel, according to a prepared statement released Thursday by United Steelworkers.
''There should be no doubt that if a buyer emerges with financing and a desire to make steel with our members at any of these facilities, the USW will step up to the plate and fight to make it happen,'' the statement says.
Pittsburgh-area businessman C.J. Betters was the top bidder on the Warren plant, offering $16 million with the promise that he will attempt to operate the Pine Avenue mill.
Betters did not return messages left with his secretary this week seeking comment.
The sale's approval is pending while an objection filed by neighboring coke plant, ArcelorMittal, is debated. ArcelorMittal has argued it has a 1988 purchase option that should allow it to purchase parts of the plant for $1. RG Steel attorneys have disputed that claim.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting attorneys for various creditors told a Delaware bankruptcy judge during a telephone hearing Wednesday that substantial progress has been made on resolving payment issues with RG Steel, focusing largely on the Sparrows Point mill in Baltimore.
The judge previously approved the $72 million sale of the Sparrows Point mill to Hilco Industrial, a company that specializes in industrial liquidations.
RG Steel, the nation's fourth-largest flat-rolled steel manufacturer, sought bankruptcy protection in late May, citing financial struggles with low steel prices and high raw material costs.