Feedback

Some employees told not to come to work at Sparrows Point, operations reportedly suspended

BREAKING NEWS – Steelworkers in some Sparrows Point departments were told not to come to work this morning and well-placed sources tell The Brew that operations at the troubled Baltimore County steel mill have been suspended by owner RG Steel.

Attempts to confirm this information have so far been unsuccessful. There has been no response from RG Steel spokeswoman Bette Kovach, and Jeff Mikula, president of Local 9477 of the United Steelworkers, could not be reached on his cellphone.

According to sources, the decision to suspend operations was made by representatives of owner Ira Rennert and has caught plant management by surprise.

The mill has been suffering from heavy operating losses since Rennert’s Renco Group bought the mill and two other Midwest steel plants from Severstal last March.

Workers at several operations were told to stay home last night. Other operations appear to be running this morning. A steel mill is a continuous operation, and shutting down a plant takes many days to put into effect.

We will continue to report on this story and find out what’s happening.

Be sure to check our full comment policy before leaving a comment.

  • Sugar

    whats George think of the fine OWNER & Management NOW! Word is their Banking the L Furnace as I Speak. Don’t bother calling McCall U know his Answer

    • 1190 Scab

      George, I’m not surprised by this. I told you 2 months ago SP WAS losing 20 million a month. Bankruptcy filing will be next! Merry Christmas George and Walter or whoever you really are!!

    • 39 year vet

      I replied to one of Walter’s postings the other day with an operations update from RG’s intranet . It showed complete primary shutdown. His response was that this was a normal occurence at Holiday time !  Why then is Warren not down like them ?  The rumors of high losses and raw material shortages (caused by nonpayment to suppliers) must be true.  By no means we at Warren are much better off.  We are reling on our unused buildings and old mill equipment for a scrap supply to make steel.  It is a sad announcement (if it is true ) for our union brothers to the East.

      • MTE-OHIO

        It will be interesting to hear the two head lappers response to this newest info. Merry Christmas Sparrows from the outstanding leadership of R-G Steel and the great Diamond Dave McCall and his select group of nuthuggers.

        • Anonymous

          We warned all of them who and what they were dealing with over that way MTE, and they chose not to believe what we were saying. Didn’t matter one bit that we had been on the street for over two years. They couldn’t sign that McCall brokered contract fast enough. Signed it so fast they didn’t even realize they were signing their own jobs away ! Rennert Group Steal cared no more about them than they do about us.

          • MTE-OHIO

            Amen Hot Metal. They got what they voted for, a goodscrewing from McCall and Rennert. How many times were they warned of the distruction that follows in the path of Diamond Dave. They thought we were a bunch of radicals just pissed off because we didn’t restart. Join the crowd boys! How does it feel to be in our shoes. Your just beginning to feel the hot beef injection delivered by these assholes. I wonder if Rennert thinks to this day if he started the wrong mill up first. Merry Christmas Sparrows , now you have an idea of how this holiday season feels for those of us at 1190 who have been on the street for close to three years.

          • Anonymous

            This is just the beginning  for those SP boys, MTE.  Hell, we are seasoned pros at this now. I would be interested to hear from Ira’s two right hand men in about a year and a half to see if their opinion of McCall and Rennert has changed any by then??  Nobody over that way gave two shits about us and our ongoing plight when they were stumbling over each other to be the first in line to vote yes on McCall’s Charmin contract. C’mon George. How about it Walter?? Put down your cryin’ towels and come join our unemployment party ! Now we just need the Steelers to win !

          • MTE-OHIO

            Your 100% correct my 1190 brother. These boys are just getting started on the R-G Steel and McCall train. You are also right about nobody giving a shit about us all this time. I do feel for the families of  SP. Remember the greater majority of these guys voted for McCall’s P.O.S. contract now they feel sold out. Hell we could have and tried to tell you people this before you passed that piece of shit. Now you got what you voted for. What comes around goes around. If you feel as though nobody gives a rat’s ass about you, believe me we know the feeling. Ira, Goodwin and the rest of these clowns you hired sure didn’t take long to inflict damage. When people advised you to start Mingo first, they weren’t blowing smoke up your royal ass.

          • Wci8757

            hell there ex union president took credit for passing it. george wanted to take up a collection for mccall and the fine union leadership up there. pass the hat around george and lets see what the people drop in it. and walter is waiting on new coke ovens.

          • 1190 Scab

            I tried to tell  The SP people to read up on Rennert’s background. I said  In a  previous post that Rennert was’nt done with us yet. This is what happens when you deal with the Devil!

          • Wci8757

            hot metal guru, this is the latest information that i have.  ira and his son ari are at the banks trying to seek additional financing. it looks like they are going to get it. but it is contingent on no money for sparrows as they  are bleeding red ink all over the floor. if for some reason it falls through warren’s blast furnace was told to be prepared to go down to 3,200 ton of hot metal a day. they said warren and wheeling would work. now that was told to someone from the front office and repeated to me.

          • Anonymous

            If Ira would have listened to some competent steelworkers first, instead of Fluffer McCall and that recycled  Esmark monkey boy Goodwin, this place would be making money now. Every other mill is doing decent, no reason to believe that RG shouldn’t be as well. Those  two  jagoffs and anybody else they drug in off the street with them should be the first ones to go ! Hard for me to understand why the international still props up that invertebrate McCall. He has sold more of our dues paying members out than he has ever done right by. I hope somebody at the international finally sees this and shows his greedy,self centered ass the door ! That meddling, no good, POS is the reason my 1190 brothers have been streetbound for almost three years.

          • Wci8757

            i would not show him the door, i would throw him through it. every dam union hall he showes up they should lock the doors on him.

          • MTE-OHIO

            WCI, Istill find it amazing that there is not a way to be rid of McCall once and for all. Here at Wheeling he is a perfect 0 for 3. Shows how much balls Gerard and the international really have. It’s great that Warren has been able to stay running. I hope that these idiots realize that starting Sparrows was a big mistake, too much overhead. Mingo would have been a better solution. That must have been their reward for passing McCall’s rag. He won’t have the balls to show up at any local union hall. Just like his two Sparrows lappers , of the many that exist, won’t resurface at this time. Let’s not forget that he has faithful followers at every local involved.

          • Wci8757

            if you can find a way to get rid of mccall let me know. one of these days people are going to wake up and see he is your worst enemy.

          • Anonymous

            WCI I cannot for the life of me imagine why those stuffed shirt bankers won’t give them anymore money to throw into that pit ??????? Perhaps because it would be the financial equivalent of shoeing a dead horse ?

          • Wci8757

            im not sure if you read my earlier post about them seeking additional financing. i heard it looks good but nothing in it for sparrows. to much red ink. warren and wheeling is supposed to run. if they don’t get it warrens blast furnace is supposed to cut back to 3,200 ton of hot metal a day. warrens order book looks good.  maybe thats why they might get it based on that. no matter what happens warren and wheeling is supposed to run. that is the last i heard friday at noon.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for the updated info my WCI brother! As always,much appreciated !!

          • MTE-OHIO

            Hot Metal, i wonder why we haven’t heard from Ira and Dave’s two lap dogs. Did they drown swimming after one of the ore carriers? Ira when you clear up your liquidity issues you should think about starting up a mill that would only cost you a fraction of what you’ve spent on Sparrows. Mingo hasn’t gone anywhere. George and Walter, crushing the competition huh?  What do you two blowhards have to say now about your great leadership now. Better yet what do your heroes McCall and Cirri have to say?

          • Anonymous

            The way I see it MTE, their lips are definitely in neutral because the curtain on  their comedy act has been pulled back to expose them for the obsequious lapdogs that they truly are. But I promise you that they are reading every post on here twice and again.

          • MTE-OHIO

            Hot Metal, Walter was spotted running after that train full of WD-40 trying to stop it .He must have figured they were going to need it. I’m surprised that it took the bankers this long to quit throwing money away. The logical choice from the start was firing Mingo up. One thing that we can take a little pride in is that we didn’t buy McCall’s bullshit at the K-C hall. That self-serving bastard will always remember the morning session.

        • Jfironwork

                   I work at RG Warren We were told to start prepairing for a possible blowdown and bonking the furance.

      • Sims71

        We also hear that Warren is going to be hot idled also

  • A very concerned citizen

    Never Fear, Babs Mikulski will soon save the day.  

    • Pointer

      Hasn”t  Babs Mikulski been around for the downfall of  Beth steel, ISG,Beth Shipyard and sparrows point by any other name and lets not forget, Westinghouse, General Motors, Raymond Metals,Signode,Thompsons,Arc Rods and too many others to mention. And lets not forget Seagrams, Fort Howard Hospital. She sure has done a great job at Keeping her job though.

      • stevie

        …. and the unions back her up like an accused mistress.

      • BOF Boy

        Hey George you idiot, now we know what those ships were doing at SP.  The Unicorn Ocean just came in from Oxelösund, Sweden full of raw materials – VERY STRANGE material coming in and jobs going out?   The railroad guys say that many of those ships George brags about are only RENTING! the Point’s piers to unload materials to be shipped out – does anybody know where all this ore and coke is going?  They put the lights out on us at the BOF a real bummer just before Christmas, just wait until Scrooge finds Walter and George, they are most likely hiding over in the finishing side trying to bump somebody aside so that they can hang on until the end and will most likely be the last rats to go down with the ship.

        • USWhasafewscabs

          Now that is one thing that would not surprise me ! And they both claim to espouse Christian beliefs. The only people those two care about are themselves !

    • Alzak17

      we have had little to no political support for  sparrows point unless its election time

  • Pissed

    This shutdown brought to you by the same jackass who took millions of dollars out of this plant under ISG.

  • Wci8757

    george and walter. now your comedy act has been exposed for everyone to see. goodbye clowns.

  • It’s about time!

    Merry Christmas from the idiots in charge behind the smoked doors that think they know what they are doing.  Just as dumb as our goverment.

  • Anonymous

    Damn, I know we have been getting hosed for going on three years now, but this is about as low as a company can go ! And two days before Christmas to boot ! I guarantee you that McCall won’t be losing any sleep, though ! Damn dirty shame the destruction he has wrought on all of us ! Let’s see if he has enough balls to show his horse face long enough to ice this cake????

    • Wci8757

      the smartest thing this union or what’s left of it is to throw mccall right out the door.

  • Ohgoho

    It’s always the ones “at the top” who don’t know diddly about what they are doing.  Politics.

  • reality check

    Sparrows Point has been in the death throes for sometime…….production costs are inherently high……it can not compete with modern steel mills. Severstal knew that and cut it’s loses…….Sad!

  • BoilerBoy

    Where’s George??

    • Anonymous

      George and Walter are still under the pier  crabbin and rockfishin. Or, they might be out to lunch with one of the ore carrier captains?  Hope somebody over that way lets them know that the RG ship is listing fast and now would be a good time to put their life preservers on.

    • Wci8757

      the fcc has taken walter and george’s comedy act off the air waves.

  • Mo

    I am not a union member at SP, but I am one of the suppliers for them. I have been coming to SP for 15 years now and have never seen it this bad! We just got our layoff notices today! Bad news for all of us. Wishing the best for the workers at SP. 

  • Upset

    This place has really turned into a joke. A multi-million dollar company cant pay their contractors, much less keep current buyers,or even run an efficient steel mill operation. Thanks for the set-up and we hope your christmas will be as good as ours. Rg steel you should be so embarressed and hopefully never show your face again

  • smokeworker

    As a warren enployee….it made me sick to my stomache at the very mention of Ira Rennerts name in the first place. Asset stripping scum. Does it make anyone pause and consider the OWS movement?……nahhh just a bunch of drug addicted homeless people.

    Smokeworker

    • reality check

      OWS will gladly make room for you high rollers…..

  • Slim Shady

     Guess George is down at the docks turning the ore carriers around !!

    • Wci8757

      walter and george are two of mccalls best lappers. and just think they had another super ore carrier just arrived from fantasy land. its’ name was the dave mccall special.

  • Anonymous

    This company is a total embarassment!! And McCall sold Sparrows out!!! First a BS contract, then BS safety rules and your fired for everthing!! Goodwin is anoth piece of ish, the way he spoke in front of the employees at thier wonderful “financial plan”…what a joke.. F theses people…Merry Christmas

  • It’s about time!

    Why doesn’t the idiot Goodwin lite one of his cigars and have a beer at the bar and come up with a way out. Oh he can’t, he’s a loose cannon drunk.
      It was almost some of the rank and file and management did this on purpose though. There was not a single mill that could run for more than 3 days without f in something up.
       Makes you wonder.

    Merry Christmas every one of us.

  • Anonymous

    Ira, if you by chance read the Brew, get in touch with me? I will show you how to make money with your recent purchase.

  • Slim Shady

    Hey George , how about those ore carriers..

    • Anonymous

      I wish to hell somebody would locate those two ducklipped puffers. I would love to hear their spin on this.

      • Wci8757

        them two ducklipped puffers  are crawling back under the rock they crawled out of.

        • MTE-OHIO

          Where in the hell are George and Walter now. Iam very interested to hear their spin on these recent events. Come on Georgie crawl out from whoever’s desk your under and talk to us you lapper. What about your Forward and Together team now? Are you still impressed by your two main men? Come on, one setback and you two clam up?

  • Slim Shady

    Heard Ira hit the wrong switch at Sparrow,s. Supose to light the star on top
      of the big L. . Instead he blew the beast of the East out….

    • Anonymous

      Does that mean no more golden eggs?

  • WHOAMI

    If you stayed at this steel mill after their last layoff, you were fooling yourself.
    If you stayed there after the contract came out, making you work more hours for less, you were stupid.
    If you plan on collecting unemployment until you can go back to this “Layoff every Christmas” type of existance, you are just foolish, stupid, and lazy.
    If you have no marketable skills to find a better job, you’re just plain out of luck! Sorry!

    • U R Selfish

      Danny, my boy you sure think alot of yourself and that’s a good thing because everyone else knows that  you are a piece of shit.  I’m glad you think that you pocess some skills because you are going to need them soon.  After the next election you will not have super seniority and you will be back in the mill.  Maybe you should go back to school to become a state policeman.  You sure doon’t show any loyality to anyone other than yourself. Self Serving!!!

  • Wci8757

    i think we are. im not sure. will check and let you know. unless walter and george chime in first as one is a bulk ore carrier guru and the other is a wizard in the steel industry. i remember one post that the wizard said that us hill billys down here are wipping egg off are face after this piece of garbage contract passed because sparrows was running and wheeling was not. well walter baby i would love to run into you because i have one big napkin i would love to hand to him.

  • appalledinohio

     Does this news truely suprize anybody? Not in the least. We’ve been scrounging for scrape here in warren just to keep our bof running. I heard this morning that our mobile equipment shop can’t get hydraulic hoses because our bill hasn’t been paid!!!!
     I know it’s after the fact, and means nothing now, but i basically begged you folks last winter to vote the contract down, WCI did aswell.  Iras crew is evil incarnate.
     Well, looks like we’re getting what we voted for, our guys are getting ready to bank warrens furnace even as i write this.
     Good luck ya’ll and have the best xmas possible.

    • Steelworker

        Are they banking the furnace or they might bank the furnace? If Warren has orders why would they bank the furnace? They would just lose those customers. 

      • Steelcros

        Good question Steelworker. From what I heard Wheeling has been getting some nice orders as well so it doesn’t make sense that these units would go down as well. Nothing on the web regarding the mid west plants so no news is good news?

        • Steelworker

          Yea, we heard from the bosses in Yorkville mill that the order book for Yorkville is strong for next year.  We are even getting new customers.

      • appalledinohio

        Thats the way i understood it yesterday, maybe just more rumor. i also agree with what you say.

      • guest9999

        They would bring Warren down because they have no monney to operate the company.  Are we really that dense?  This isn’t business as usual, but it very well could be the death of the company.  No money means no jobs, ANTWHERE.  Get out of your dream world! This isn’t about only Sparrows Point, but every job at RG. As far as losing customers, Sparrows was running at 60 to 70% on the L, and Warren was almost full.  Where are those orders going to be fill?  No clue, huh? What I’m saying is that this company can survive without Warren and Wheeling, but it can’t without Sparrows. All the BS rumors like Severstal coming back in, and Wheeling getting hot band from Arcelor are just that. This company lives and dies as a whole, no one piece can survive on it own. That has been proven several times. Hope for a favorable outcome with the banks and pols, that is RG’s only hope.

        • Wci8757

          the company can survive without warren and wheeling but not sparrows. thats why they shut sparrows down.

          • USWhasafewscabs

            That was a good one WCI !

        • USWhasafewscabs

          You got one part of that statement wrong. This company can’t survive  WITH SPARROWS. Wheeling Pitt and WCI  did fine without Bethlehem.

  • Slim Shady

    Well I guess George got on one of those ore carriers and left..
      2012 what will it bring,

    • Wci8757

      put mcall on there with walter and you can call it the departing of the three stooges

  • Anonymous

    Friends and neighbors, there is only one road that shall take us to the promised land. That road begins by bringing primary operations back to life in Mingo ! Very low overhead to startup the EAF. And while it is feeding our caster, we could easily finish the # 5  blast furnace and upgrade the BOF. If it is profit, prosperity  and paychecks we are looking for, this is the path that needs to be taken. Oh, and jettisoning the odd couple of McCall and Goodwin, too ! We have more than enough competent steelmen here in the Ohio Valley to lead the way !

  • Mk3steve

    Heard today sparrows and mingo have a buyer,and warren is ramping up production.sorry sparrows the shoe is on the other foot dosent feel so good does it.thanks for a shitty contract but if that is what it takes to get rid of the leach in Balt then I’m fine with that,happy new year jackass.

    • Steelcros

      MK I think you mean Warren and not Sparrows. Anyway where did you get this bit of information?

      • Taco

        I found this article in the Steubenville paper from earlier this year  from a steel industry expert,  ”While Locker sees Sparrows Point as the mill with the best potential of the three, he said Steubenville would likely be the next option. Warren is a “more limited mill,” he said, with Steubenville’s electric arc furnace and caster providing superior capacity and versatility.”  This makes it look like it will be both of these mills or just one to survive and SP has more going for it because of its larger capacity furnace, new cold mill, and materials arriving via cheap ocean transport.

  • Mk3steve

    It was in the paper in Steubenville that sparrows and mingo have a buyer.

    • Steelcros

      I looked in the Steubenville Herold Star but didn’t see it. Can you post a link of tell which paper it’s in?

  • Wci8757

    george, will you keep us abreast on the next giant bulk ore carrier pulling into port. and were you and the captain of it will be dining at tonight.

  • Taco

    Mk3steve if the new purchaser buys SP and Mingo it looks like they would complement each other pretty good.   All those other oddball little operations will most likely be sold or spun off.   I just wish that the new owner will be here for us for the long run and then we can show them.  Some contractors said that they saw whitehats with Visitor on the hats looking at things, probably taking a little tour and window shopping us but we have no news of the sale yet here at Sparrows Point.  SP sends lots of materials out to Martins Ferry, how are they doing ?

  • usw hopeful

    rg needs to restart mingo and leave sparrows point down for good

  • usw hopeful

    HAS ANYONE HEARD WHO THE POSSIABLE BUYER IS FOR MINGO  AND YHE SPARROWS POINT???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Dmiddleton1128

    I’m just a little guy down Sp, who gets info from many different áreas and people. So i find it a little funny that so many aré taken back by what is happening!
    Many rumours Yes, but if you sat back and watched, then the peases start coming
    Together.
    Talk from supervisors/mo employ was RG was not paying any bills. (
    Shipping as much steel as possible, scrapping everything not nailed down. And having as much material as possible shipped in. THEN….. Large layoff followed by filing Bankrupt. After which he would merge with another company ( forgot the name told to me) but this others company is nonunion. Open back up w/ no unión, no dept, and loaded up with free material, ready to roll.
    Sooooo,….lets see gentleman, which part of this rumour is true ??????
    So far, RG IS NOT paying anyone, and you wonder why no orders aré coming in !!!
    Yes, they aré Shipping a LOT of material out. And a LOT of material is coming in, but then companys aré demanding to be paid at time of delivery. Which RG will not do so some companys aré rolling out with the orders.
    Trucking co. Aré leaving due to nonpayment. Scrapping everything that can be sold
    I was told they owe KinderMorgan 6million alone.
    But Thats ok, IRÁ wants to get rid of ALL outside contractors and have His RG people pickup the slack.
    Ummm,…..you all got your pink slips. 700 i believe!
    So what part of this rumour do we have left……………….

    • MTE

      You left out the part that said things will pick up after the first of the year.Next week

  • Dmiddleton1128

    No MTE sorry,……I didnt forget that part.
    Because Im sorry to say THAT is a rumor.

    • User711756

      Really…..You must not work there.

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • March 24, 2014

    • Last Thursday, I sent an email to the Mayor’s Office of Communications asking for some basic responsiveness: Please return our emailed queries and phone calls about stories. Please send us the same routine emails you send to other members of the media. Lately, more so than usual, they haven’t been. It’s a shame because, even [...]

Twitter

Facebook