RG Steel plans to idle tin mill at Sparrows Point due to plunging sales

Steel mill under pressure to become "cost neutral" by mid-April.

tandem mill 24

Photo, circa 1950, of one of the many operations that produced tinplate at Sparrows Point.

Photo by: Mark Reutter Collection

RG Steel has notified key staff that it is considering idling the tinplate mill at Sparrows Point and consolidating operations in Ohio.

The shutdown of the tin mill – with the potential loss of about 300 jobs – comes amid intense pressure on RG Steel to stop losses at the Baltimore County facility or else face the same cash crunch that led to the mill’s closure before Christmas.

Sparrows Point was reopened in late January after a cash infusion of $125 million from the private equity fund Cerberus Capital.

When it closed in December, Sparrows Point had an accounts payable debt of $90 million. It is currently struggling to pay off creditors and become “cost neutral” by the middle of April, well-informed sources tell The Brew.

Customers Take Orders Elsewhere

A major victim of the mill’s Christmas closure was tinplate operations. “Customers are nervous about RG Steel,” a source familiar with sales said today. “When they shut down, customers said, ‘You’re not committed to our product’ and began looking elsewhere.”

The shutdown coincided with the annual renewal of tinplate orders, leading many customers to shift their orders to other companies for 2012.

Another factor that spooked customers was a fire at the tin mill last October, which halted operations and led to questions about the company’s reliability.

Shift to Yorkville, Ohio

Bette Kovach, spokeswomen for RG Steel, declined today to say whether the tin mill was being shut. “We do not comment on how units are scheduled,” she said in an e-mail.

Last night the trade journal American Metal Market quoted “well-placed players in the tinplate market” saying Sparrows Point would temporarily cease production.

RG Steel produces tinplate in Yorkville, Ohio, through a 50-50 joint venture known as Ohio Coatings Co. The mill has a capacity of 300,000 tons a year, indicating that RG Steel’s share of production is 150,000 tons.

Sparrows Point is a much bigger operation – with a 550,000-ton annual capacity – but has not been fully utilized for several years.

A well-informed source said Sparrows Point never recovered from the shutdown of the steelmaking furnaces in 2010-11 by its previous owner, Severstal.

At that time, the mill had a very profitable line, called “drawn-in-iron” or DNI steel, used to make aerosol and other cans with just one weld.

“Sparrows Point was the only mill outside of U.S. Steel that could make the product,” the source said. But when furnace operations were closed by Severstal, the plant lost the orders for good.

Several sources told The Brew that RG Steel was arranging to shift orders from Sparrows Point to Yorkville in April, and idle the Baltimore facility sometime after that.

Those plans are subject to change. It is also conceivable that the company could pick up enough orders in the next few months to reopen the facility – though sources caution that Sparrows Point needs to be run at a high volume to be profitable.

Campbell Soup

Sparrows Point has been identified with tinplate product since July 1917, when owner Bethlehem Steel opened the first integrated tinplate mill east of Pittsburgh.

For decades, the mill supplied thousands of customers – including Campbell Soups, Dole Pineapples and scores of beer companies – with thin-gauge, rust-resistant steel known as “tinplate” even though the metal contained very little tin.

Tinplate production rose rapidly through the 1950s, then began a slow decline as packagers began to use aluminum, plastic and cardboard composites in place of steel for containers.

In addition to tinplate, Sparrows Point produces various types of cold-rolled coils for industrial uses, and galvanized and trademarked Galvalume steel for roofing and other construction materials.








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  • Friend of Steel

    The tin plate contracts were good for volume but were sometimes short on profits.
    With moving the production to Ohio it will cut costs at SP which could help the bottom line.
    RG should reap higher profits on tin plate with spot sales from OCC.

    • Whosyodaddy

      The bottom line is that with your aging workforce, you cant afford to continue to lose your valuable young workers to other jobs.

      • Steel Lady

        Some of the work force is aging, but in turn there was a wealth of knowledge when the majority of them retired or was let go by R.G. Steel. I use to work in the office, and I had to deal with a lot of inexperience engineers. They really tried, and some of them didn’t really have a clue of what the hell they were doing. I blame the Union for all of this. I think that they could’ve been more diligent with observing the companies activities, instead of looking out for their own relatives and asses! The real pain of this all is that there will be a lot of people hurting financially. Let it be Sparrows Point or the other plants in Ohio or wherever. R.G. Steel is a “cut throat” business. Beware Ohio and the others. God Bless all.  

  • Whosyodaddy

    The tin mill was always known as the “money maker”.  It’s DNI and others where what paid the bills of sparrows point during the bad times. This is not the beginning of the end, but it’s more like the nail in the coffin. Now that they have shifted all sizable orders to other mills, there is no reason to keep SP open at all.  I wish things were different but you got to face the facts sooner or later. There are no plans for a long term future.

  • Richard Cheese

    Get the heck out of dodge!  If you are still there and you are not looking for another job, you look in the mirror when the crap hits the fan cause you are the only one to blame. The statement “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” comes to mind here.
    God forbid your families would ever have to be out in the cold, but at that point, would you be able to say, ” I did all I can do to prevent this” ?  Or would you say, “Well… I held out to the bitter end and paid the price for it.”

    Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. I mean,  If you got only five years to retirement, this really sucks for you. Nobody wants to hire older people, which is wrong, and at the same time, you have really nothing to lose by staying. If you have less than 25 years of service, it would be pure laziness to stay.

    For years, this place had : an aging workforce, a stumbling hot mill, a great blast furnace (that severstal tried to kill), a great cold mill, and a tin mill that had greater production of quality steel than most in the country. The best piece of the puzzle is closing. But the new president of the union is concerned about picketing at Cooper Tires? How about paying attention to your own F_cking  job! All this happened right under your nose, wow.

    • Jason

      Their concern for picketing cooper tires is to distract the members of the Department Of Labor overseeing their elections to avoid corruption again. 

      • MTE-OHIO

        Sounds like a good reason to buy a set of Coopers to me. Anymore logic seems to be do the opposite of what the USW says. Ask the people of the Ohio Valley what they think of the USW after 3 miserable years.


    The writing is on the wall all you have to do is READ IT!! This is the begining of the END!! RIP SPARROWS!!!


    I can’t wait to hear what the GOOD DOCTOR has to say about this oh hay CHEESE SEVERSTAL DID KILL YOUR FURNACE!!

  • BOF Boy

    Sparrows Point is still using MESTA equipment.  Mesta went bankrupt in the 1980’s.  Walter & George are only being kept around because they are the only ones still alive who know how to fix the old junk when it breaks or burns up from a grease fire.  I think that they both got hired in 1917, most likely draft dodgers from WWI.  Looks like they could get booted out the door if the tin mill closes unless they reopen it as an industrial museum and Walter and George can give tours and sell popcorn.  Does anybody in Yorkville want them?  We will pay the cab fare.

    • Wci8757

      and i will pay the cab fare to send them back.

    • 1190memberforjustice

      SP created them you keep them!

      • Wci8757

        and i like that.

  • Roustabout41673

    I think everyone sort of expected this to happen. I posted about a week ago about the gas and oil industry being the savior of Mingo, but at the same time it will be the demise of Sparrows Point. Mingo is positioned directly in the middle of the Utica shale and will start up and supply that industry. This has been in the works for a few months by our union and RG Steel, but they decided to keep it quite so they could get their infusion of cash that will be directed to the Ohio Valley. I think it is a shame that They divided this company by pitting SP against Mingo during the whole contract process, now it will be SP that will be on the outside complaining about money and being out of work while other plants are working. I hope that thngs work out for everyone during this ordeal, but unless they change management at all plants, this will be short lived and we will all be out of work while the upper management just moves on to another company. I hope this post doesn’t get deleted like my first one did, which I believe was only done because I announced the deal with the gas/oil industry before they wanted people to know. 

    • argbigshot


    • loud mouth 1190

      thank god you are telling us but how reliable are you we have

       been hearing we were going to start up for 3 years now there might be some truth in what your saying because mingo just sent 2 hot mill bosses to look at some slag pots so that i hope indicates you might be on to something they were sent to sp to do this

      • TACO

        SP has plenty of extra slag pots,so this makes sense, these are nice steel pots (Whemco?)with a long service life and are easy to repair.  So this is good that SP can help you all out, good luck with your start up.

  • Bigpapapump

    hey sp and everyone else,i told you months back that these people who we work for now were no good,i told you not to pass the contract,but you made it pass,these people put us out on the streets in 1995and brought in goons  and felons to run our mill ,they didnt want your mill in the first place,all they wanted was your vote to pass the contract,you guys made it pass and now we all have to live with it.

  • BOF Boy

    I think that Mark needs to correct the caption on the above photo of the Tinmill – this photo is not Circa 1950 – I think that it was taken last week at SP!!!  

    I can prove it – If you look at the left side of the picture you will see George driving the steam powered Case – Mark I forklift (see the large Smokestack on the front of the forklift held in place by two guy wires).  George is the only one with enough seniority to drive the steam-powered equipment around the mill.  Thanks to Dr. Boothe for bringing this matter to our attention.

  • kojac

    And it still takes 6 guys for them to run that mill

  • Jason

    The union is still quiet on this issue with no communication to their members.  There was a union meeting on February 20th and no word of the shut down. The embarrassment of having a current election to be supervised due to them not following the law is a disgrace.
    You could never find a union official until election time no matter what difficulties come up. They all sit in the Annex building less than 40 hours a week making 48-56 hour paychecks.  The only way to save our jobs is to vote all the incumbents out.

    • Wci8757

      sounds like we have the same union.

      • 1190memberforjustice

        if you think thats bad take a trip to 1190 union hall and take a look at what we got.

    • Throw out the bum

      I guess Mr. cirri knows now that “old” laws must be obeyed, but I got to give it to him, he got the International to fight the issue so that he could illegal hold the position of president for two and a half years. It is an outright disgrace that as members we had to pay for all this. cirri should be made to return to the mill and do an honest days work!!!!!

  • Steubenville 1190.

     It says they are idling tin plate but might start up galvanizing line at sparrows . They are talking to the union about starting up caster and eaf but want to not give the guys coming back a fresh start for sub . Don’t take this to the bank , because I don’t want to get peoples hopes up , but this is what I am hearing . I don’t understand why we always get thrown under the bus if we want to get something started , why do we have to give up anything , we have suffered enough for 3 years and we are still 3 dollars an hour under big steel wages .

    • Friend of Steel

      A new press release from RG says that they are starting the second coating line at SP. Good news!

  • TiredfromOhio

    Does sub pick back up after you work so many weeks just like unemployment?

    • John

      Your sub isnt like unemployment, its 100 percent as soon as you return to work.

  • Richard Cheese

    I keep thinking either two of these things are true:

    1. The union knew this was going to happen but did not tell any of their members. If this is true then they clearly dont have their member’s best interest in mind and could care less about their futures.


    2. The union has no clue about this or any other matters of the company. If this is true then that means that the company totally unbuckles the pants, squats, and lets out a large load of crap on the union’s head. Yes, Mr. President ( Chris MacLarion) you just got crapped on.


    Money well spent!

    You know what though, I cant hate on them. If I could have a job making money and doing absolutely nothing but sitting around the office drinking a spiked glass of  ensure through a straw , I’d do it.

  • Steveiez

    I hauled steel out of SP in the from 1974 till 81 when the mill was in decent state. I did haul Campbell Soup’ it was a big deal then. Sparrows has tried to stay viable for so long; maybe as far back as 1960. I hate too say this; is it time to scrap the mill and perhaps forget about it or go to a mini- mill operation?

    It is no longer an issue of union vs mangement; it has becaome an issue of pure survival.

    • George

      Oh give me a break!  You are no more an old truck driver than the guy writing your material- aka Dr. Doom.   Now we have truck drivers that are posing as industry analysts, what next will Dr. Doom dream up?  The customers and investors are not buying it, you are only making SP and its hot-end more valuable because everyone can see how much an impact the Point is making on the iron & steel scene.

  • no name please

    The mill at SP can never make money.  As long as the same sales people are involved, the men and women doing all the hard work will always suffer.  I have been a purchaser at this mill for more than 35 years and it does not matter who owns it.  Sales staff are always looking for kick backs and payoffs and this has been true throughout the years.  If the Mill wants a fresh start, assuming it is not too late, then they should start with new sales and office staff and keep and an eye on what they are doing and how well they live.  Most sales people leave the Mill with loads of cash put away and have very good lifestyles.  I could never understand why this has not been written about by those who claim to be watching.  This is not a secret and certainly has made SP unprofitable no matter who owns it.  Sorry to have to say this but as a buyer, I have found that the highest price does not mean that you will get the product.  Where else can you find managers turning away high prices especially in a poor economy.  Smells like someone ought to do some real investigating.

    • Dr Raymond Boothe

      No name brings up an excellent point-I have heard about the sales people at SP, but I never  had anybody to back me up. The only things I have heard from customers is the bad service, damaged products, and late delivery. These problems are enough for anybody NOT to buy from SP. This has gone on for a very long time. The sales people at SP think that it is the 1950’s and operate the sales department like the mafia (or the USW). Again, it seems that everybody in management and sales at RG/SP wants their pound of flesh before the entire ship sinks. Quality control was never a great suit of SP. This underlying graft is something that the BREW should investigate further.

      As I have said before SP has attempted to be viable for a very long time. This is nothing new. It was failing as far back as the 1960’s and Bethlehem made one last grand effort in building L blast furnace to replace all the remaining furnaces. However, by not building a new coke plant and adding a third BOF vessel, and a larger hot strip mill, the entire plant became totally unbalanced. Currently you have a lot of equipment that is now getting too old to repair, almost antique and not contributing to RG Steel’s profit plan.

      If you really wanted SP to survive it would take incredible amounts of cash. First of all, if anything, the L blast furnace should be shut down (along with the sinter plant) and replaced with an electric furnace. The EAF is more controllable and able to adjust to forseeable market conditions. This would cut costs in coke and sinter altogether. Secondly a new caster and wider hot strip mill would make their hot and cold mill products more sellable. RG Steel has enough capacity at Mingo to downstream tin products effectively so the tin mill should be closed down. Finally the No. 4 coating mill should be replaced.

      SP will always be a loser as long as creative minds are not able to create better solutions. Currently, their current leadership is not that creative.

      • reality

        You are correct about the wider Hot Mill. That mill is ancient. Electric loopers…really? PSC control was installed by Severstal…..15 years after everybody else had it. Wide mills are what customers are looking for, more flexabilty and less yield loss for the customer. The mill was an ancient dump when ISG was running it….they tried to integrate and up grade Level 2 control back then. FAIL. Closed loop feedback is bad. Gauge control is bad. Other than that everyting is great….. The sad truth is most of the RG assets are outdated. When we talk about 15 year old(minimum) equipment like its state of the art  there is nowhere else to go. Warren has some value because of their flexability. I can assure you when competitors(nucor,sdi,gerdau, severstal, mittal,ak etc) develope their business strategy, the last thing they are concerned with is the “L” furnace. AND I LIKE THAT!

        • reality

          before you all freak out..i had a typo in my last post….meant to say “PLC” control.

        • George

          Ok, one more Dr. Doom plant with another cup of daily bitter Brew about how the massive “L” is not a force in the marketplace. Who cares what Seversteal installed years ago?  RG is upgrading and improving operations at SP  daily.  

          Ask anyone in the business, with the Beast munching one bulk ore carrier after another, the competitors are not getting a sound night’s sleep and Mr. Ira and I like that!

          • Wci8757

            it looks like mittel is getting a good nights sleep as it is getting ready to start back up.

      • George

        As to today’s ship report, the beautiful PANAMANA just docked at Sparrows Point.  Is she loading slabs or hotband to take to more satisfied customers, or she she unloading coke? Let us see how good Doc’s sources are.  If he gets the answer correct I will send him  a case of Testor’s Model Glue for his projects.

        Now Doc’s plants are harping on the SP sales staff!!  I guess he wants the FBI to look into their bonuses for landing new customers?  Now, in addition to his daily grind about closing down the giant L Furnace, he has added one of the world’s largest Sintering Plants that just happens to be at SP too! As to coke, unless making coke generates electricity as a byproduct – forget it. There is no market today for the toxic benzene and other crap in this modern age. So it is less fuss just to let the Poles, Czechs, or Hillbillies make the coke and  leave the high profit iron & steel making to the Point.  The entire coke issue is going to be a mute point anyway after Sun builds their new electric generating coke mini coke batteries in 21219 – with no toxic byproducts, only high grade coke and free electricity.  So the coke argument just not fly.

        As to our older equipment.  We are fortunate to have the excellent American made manufacturing equipment that is just too costly to duplicate today.  The new mini mills are using lightly built Jap & Chinese junk that is simply not as heavy duty as the older American made processing equipment that the Point uses. SP also has its share of new state of art equipment, I just like the heavy forgings and simplicity of the older machines.

        As to the BOF – again one of the world’s largest and she can turn more iron into steel faster with 2 vessels than other mills with 4 vessels.  We also have on site one of the world’s largest oxygen manufacturing plants, I bet the Doc did not know that?  SP also has its own giant electric power generating plant (the Penwood Power Plant) so we do not have to beg for juice and only run at night or the weekends like Doc. wants the Ohio mills to do – heck, just get a long extension cord and we will give you some of our extra electricity.  And Doc forgets about SP having the biggest Pigging operation in the USA too!   

        Doc sure is working hard to convince himself that the SP hotside should call it a day – WHY?  Somebody either wants the output of the Beast to cease flooding the market with product, or they want to convince the Boss the sell out at fire sale bargain basement prices so that they can slide in and start collecting Golden Eggs from the Beast of the East for themselves?

        Doc and his gang of stooges are fooling no one here in 21219.  Doc, The L is here to stay put, so go find another mill to try to close down or acquire. I am going to look at brochures for an EAF, I know a spot across from the L that we be nice and we can run both of them at the same time (and share the same snack bar) so that you guys need only Frack  shale, or work on pipelines and I like that.

        Capt. Georgie

        • Dr Raymond Boothe

          Old RG Georgie, you are certainly laughable ghost writer for RG/SP You can’t hide the truth abuth about the problems at the Point so you just make things up. 

          First of all you are dreaming if you think SP can compete with with the BOF vessels at AMIH and USS Gary. They are bigger, record holders and there and MORE OF THEM STUPID. Do the math or go back to school.Do you realize that the largest power plant at an indusrial complex in the United Stated is run off of No. 7 blast furnace at AM Indiana Harbor? Where have you been? It has long surpassed RG/SP. The if you are pigging iron it only means that you are making too much metal and trying to sell it on the worst market for American metal ever-pig iron. Most foundries purchase pig iron from Brazil which is far cheaper.

          As far as coke, Polish coke cost about the same as American coke because Polish coke has no enviromental or safety concerns. Now RG/SP is just a leach and theft operation. The people  you call “Hillbillies” are your fellow steel workers and keep the “Least of the East” operating.I am sure they would enjoy seeing your butt stuffed down in one of the enviromentally controlled coke batteries. 

          Your equipment is from a steel making museum. The constant breaking down of just about everything proves that.

          The Testors Glue you want to send me should be applied to your lying mouth.

          • Wci8757

            i thing george smelled to much testers glue.

        • Wci8757

          george. it’s good to know the beast is consuming all that ore and you are flooding the market with product. when this quarter closes march 31st. the profit sharing checks should be really high. so i am going to take your word and buy me that jaguar i wanted.  now if there is no profit sharing you are going to look very bad. the last time i took walters advice he told me goose is getting ready to lay golden egg i bought me a cadillac and goose lay a golden bomb. and finance company repossed it. all my neighbors laughed at me. when tow truck pulled out of drive with cadillac on it.

  • Outside Looking In

    Mark please answer a question or two for me.Have you asked Dr Boothe for an interview? If you have is it going to be posted soon.And if not why?The good Dr should be able to give you a good story since he seems to have insights into everything. 

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Reality-The L furnace is the first item they should be worrying about.It is too big for the operations. The two largest blast furnaces in the USA  have more than twice the BOF capacity than L furnace. AM No. 7 at Indiana Harbor (produces 11 thousand tons per day) has 4 BOFs to make steel from. USS No. 13 (10,000 tons per day) at Gary has 4 BOFs to make steel. AM Burns Harbor has 2 large blast furnaces and three BOFs.AM Cleveland has 2 large blast furnaces and 4 BOF vessels and two casters. In other words these plants are BETTER BALANCED and can run at full capacity at any time. RG/SP is hampered by a blast furnace that is way too large to be efficient with only 2 BOFs and one caster that is currently suspect.The first solution to RG/SP is simple-phase out L blast furnace and build a more cost effective EAF. That would solve many problems. Saving huge costs in iron ore and coke.

    The best set-up for its size in the RG Steel empire by far is at Mingo. It is the most versatile
    mill in the United States but RG Steel will not start it up due to the costs at SP that are eating up the entire company. Although Mingo No. 5 makes only 1.5 million tons per year, it and the the EAF can together make around 2.5 million tons. This is far ample to supply all of RG Steel’s downstream operations plus roll slabs, ship extra slabs to Warren or make extra wide 80-inch coils, whatever the market demands. SP can even ship slabs to Mingo for processing into large coils. This plant was built for the future and RG Steel just does not know how to utilize it. When Goodwin was at Mingo he was totally clueless about how to run it, while Ira just wants to play “steel baron,” playing with a big toy blast furnace
    just like Carnegie. And he is just like Carnegie. He will play with the plant and employees until the losses mount up so high, then he will just walk away and cut his losses.

    The Warren Plant has to be careful because its hot end is old and could fail at any time. Warren needs to develop a plan with Mingo to produce slabs in the chemistry it needs.Not only does Mingo need to operate on its own, it must be ready to back up Warren in case of a disaster. When Ira hears how much it is to reline a blast furnace, reline three stoves, build a new No. 4 stove and repair the BOF shop, he will drop a load. It won’t happen. He has his blinders on his toy on Baltimore Harbor.

    • reality

      i think you may have misunderstood. i agree with what you are saying. My point is that competitors don’t even consider L, they don’t care. Thats because RG as a whole is not consequential. It is not a serious business entity.

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Capt. RG Georgie-The only thing that will be coming to SP at the end of March will be more unpaid bills, broken down equipment, lower sales and general dissapointment. How can you make any profit when you start out $100 million in the hole-LOL. If you make a penny it will be only because of a non earned loan, stolen scrap and free coke. Any accountant would die laughing. The employees will not get any profit sharing checks. They will be writing checks to work there.

    Old Mittal is just waiting to press the button to unlease a huge amount of strip into the market. He has had his BF’s, BOF, EAF’s and casters  repaired and updated. In addition all his plants are well balanced with his hot ends and processing depts. 

    SP is unbalanced. Even if “the Least of the East” could operate at full production it is still a loser. The BOF and wobbly caster can’t handle that much iron and there is no market for American pig iron. Too expensive compared to Brazilian pig. No tin sales at SP becaue the tin sales come from the Wheeling Plants downstream. The wobbly No. 4 galvanizing mill will be down for at least a week in April and the hot strip mill is old and cannot build up coils as large as Mingo.

    RG management is too disorganized and inept to run the company. Mingo sits there idle and Warren, the source of RG Steel’s profits, operates on a day to day basis due to problems with the entire hot end.

    Again, everybody knows that Capt. RG Georgie is just another “ghose writer” from the SP office building. Give it up and get back to work.

  • Wci8757

    i bet all them model boats he plays with are ore carriers. im waiting for another report on the next carrier arriving. it’s been at least fifteen minutes since the last one.

    • George

       Good morning Wci8757 – Wait no more, the big bulk carrier B.M.BERGAMO, just docked with mountains of raw materials.  Check her out on line and you and Doc. will see how the big boys at SP play with boats.   The customers and Beast are happy and I like that!

      Capt. Georgie  

      • Wci8757

        rub a dub dub. georgie and his model ore carrier boats playing in the tub. i bought that jaquar today because you said the beast is getting ready to lay another golden egg.  the last time walter said that i bought a new cadillac and beast laid a golden bomb and could not pay for it and they repossed it. so im taking your word for it and beast better not lay another golden bomb. if it doe’s when this quarter close’s you are not going to have any credability left that’s for sure. do you want to look like a big lier after all that ore your using and flooding the market with product.

  • Anonymous

    There WAS a new coke battery built after L furnace was built.

    • Dr Raymond Boothe

      If there was a coke battery built (and I do not doubt you) it sure did not last long. Whoever owned SP at the time should have had it rebuilt or replaced. However, with SP’s record (and Maryland’s strict environmental laws) companies like Sun probably now would not toutch it with a ten foot pole. Again the lack of foresight and mismanagement that is history of RG/SP.

      There is no reason that RG/SP should depend on Polish Coke and stealing coke from  MSC.

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    As I said in an earlier post, if they do not get rid of Goodwin, Ira and the USW those ore boats will be turning around and going back to Africa and Canada because SP will be broke and will have no credit. This cannot go on forever. Creditors, vendors and customers will get sick of the antics of Goodwin, his management and Ira. They just won’t deal with a company like SP that has such a long and unreliable history.

    The unions must face what their problems and demand that the current management must
    GO and GO now. The company cannot continue under this type of poor management-you all will be out of your jobs. Unions must talk to each other and develop a UNIFIED plan to get these changes made. It will be only then that the company can be arranged into a successful business unit.

    New leadership with vision and international steel business experience can only save this company from its terrible management. This includes firing Ira, Goodwin and everybody in upper management on down who do not want to think out of the traditional box.

    The steel industry of the 70’s is dead
    Dead as it can be
    It has killed most of the integrated plants,
    and now its killing SP.

  • George

    Dr. Boothe forgets to mention that Mr. Tang’s National Materials owns the highly successful Maryland Pig Operation at Sparrows Point. No way are they going to close this cash cow just because of “Dr. Dream & Doom’s” evil plans of closing down iron making at SP to benefit his handlers. Why all of the daily disinformation about SP and its experienced and fine management, the successful union leadership, and dedicated world -class workforce???  This is none of his concern, unless his handlers are upset that with L running full out SP will upset their apple cart?  In this delicate economic situation, having SP returning as a major market player could send the Dr.’s handler’s business plans into the slag pit!

    Remember that it cost lots money to bring SP’s competitors on line or just to keep their doors open.  Dr. Boothe would have you think that only SP has operating costs and all the other mills do not – silly boy!  Again his handlers are spinning fairy tales about the industry and casting SP in a less favorable light for their own wicked means.Why Why Why?  If SP, (as the Doctor Doom claims) is so close to death, WHY is he so intent on driving nails into its coffin?  Because this grand and iconic Cathedral of Capitalism is alive and well and is diverting the competitor’s flow charts into the slop pits.  The Doctor’s biggest folly and disappointment will be when his devilish handlers finally realize that iron making at SP is here to stay for a very very long time.  Time for them to re-plumb their flow charts with SP smack dab in the middle of their spread sheets!  Sparrows Point is a City of American Industrial Might (21219 is our own Zip Code), and the dream weavers, no matter how much they try, cannot huff and puff and blow this grand empire into the mighty Patcrapsco River!  Sparrows Point and our beloved Beast of the East will live happily ever after and we all like that!!!

    Capt. Georgie and the happy Crew of the S.S. Sparrows Point

    • Friend of Steel

      Hey George, I noticed that the ship E.R. Bergamo is docked at SP.

      • George

        That’s right Capt. Friend of Steel, mountains of ore fresh from the mine, more tasty treats for Sparrows Point and more L Furnace Golden Egg on the face of Dr. Doom and his “industry insider” crew of stooges.  

        The investors and customers are jumping for joy and having a big laugh at Dr. Doom’s failed predictions with his daily “steel report” comedy hour.  The giant bulker B.M. Bergamo sure is pretty sitting alongside the big SP ore dock.  Stop by after work for a cup of coffee and homemade sandwiches     made by the ship’s executive chef just for us SP Ship Reporter Club members, and I like that.   

        Capt. Georgie

        • Wci8757

          george. do you and walter ever pay for anything it seems like your always mooching something. coffee,sandwiches,etc.

          • Walter

            Wci -Everyone is chipping in the buy Dr. Boothe a pair of new glasses at WalMart – $39.95 plus tax out of our pockets.  And we can only use the company Rolls Royce to take Doc to get his eyes examined if we return the Rolls with a full tank of gas and run it through the car wash.

            And we are paying for the gas and car wash at Mickey’s too!  And if anybody is making fun of  their fellows workers it is Doc and his crew.  Always saying our beautiful mill is an hourly motel and that our ore ships are make believe and other things too hurtful to repeat.  Please do not blame ALL of the folks in SP for my opinion, just blame me (well George and Taco Bell too, they are worst than me).   The sandwiches were good and they gave me an extra one for lunch tomorrow.  

            I cannot wait for George to alert me when the next bulk carrier will dock at SP.  I need a new complimentary hat.

            Dr. Walter   Phd BS

          • Wci8757

            it’s nice to know that you run a rolls royce through a car wash. that is real class.

          • Walter

            Thanks Wci8757, at least you are always nice to us SP folks.  The car wash is half price with a gas tank fill-up so that was a saving for us. When you see Dr. Boothe tell him that the investors will be delighted to know that the guys are doing a grand job getting everything in tip-top condition so that they can supply the customers with SP’s signature product – Galvalume. All the lines are coming along nicely and will soon be supplying the agricultural and building trades with this fine strong and weather-resistant product. 

            I am happy that you bought a new car, this just again proves investor confidence in the company.  Low Dobbs said that manufacturing is returning back to the USA, of course it never left SP, while the others cut and ran we hung in their and now we are well positioned for the projected industry upturn by late spring or early fall of this year.  With more infrastructural money to be released before the election, the market for building products like Galvalume looks very good. 
             Why cannot R. Boothe see the same truthful and Rosy picture for continued success that is evident to everyone here in 21219?  Maybe I will pay a little extra and have them tint his new eyeglasses! Dr. Walter  Phd. BS

          • Boysinglasshouses

            R. Boothe cant seethe same rosy picture because he probably doesn’t have a big fancy office with leather furniture paid for with carrer development money

          • Wci8757

            george said goose is getting ready to lay big golden egg so i bought the jaquar yesterday. last time you said goose getting ready to lay golden egg  i bought new cadillac and goose lay bomb. fianace company repossed it. you really pulled my leg on that one. last year you said steel business was going to pick up the first quarter of this year now you say by late spring early fall. on the subject of eyeglasses you should have your eyes checked. being in your seventies im sure you eyesight is failing to. do not want to see you wreck companies rolls royce george would not have anything to haul his  chicken gizzards around in.

          • pastsprep

            walter you been exposed everyone knows you are a plant by now, give it up. o you and george already gave up what real steelworkers have got you, you two should not recieve any benefits that the steelworkers have.

    • imnew

         george i dont know who you are but i would love to meet your stupid ass in person im sick and tired of hearing about sp if it wasnt for warren keeping this company above water i think we would be done i hope mingo and warren can get seperated from sp before they bring us all down i hope that somebody from the copany reads the brew and see what the doc has been preaching about mingo and all the good things about it and the company gets rid of all the top managment and get mingo up and running so we can make some money if not sale us to us steel and let them make the moneygoodwin woods mccall they all gotta go even the uswa we should try to get in another union other than the uswa because i dont think they even care about mingo when we were on strike we were on labows door step demanding answers  now  international is not doing shit for 1190 and there familys           

  • TACO

    Dr. Ray+ the owners of Wonderbread do not grow wheat and mill their own flour.
    Same goes for the progressive modern steel industry, let somebody else far away deal with the environmental nightmare of air and water pollution. A year in Hell is better than one shift working in a coke oven! Just the thought of coke oven gas makes me want to puke! Doc – Go stick your head in a coke oven!

    No more fouled air and Benzene, and worse dripping into the ground, let the Poles and others have the fun of coking and let the steel making to real steelworkers. Dr. Ray is now the one stuck in the 1970’s with talk of coke ovens. Cheaper and less trouble for Wonderbread to buy their flour than grow and mill it, same goes for modern steel.  Leave the coal & ore miners alone and let them do their thing and the steelworkers will go about their business making iron & steel.


    Doc, this guy isn’t worth replying to. No matter what happens this plant will always support the horrible management of R-G. Don’t worry when Cerberus finally pulls the plug on Ira and Goodwin you won’t hear from him at all. Just like when they shut down in December, he will vanish without a trace. And I like that.

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Yes, we all know that Walter and Georgie are RG/SP Plants and certainly do not care about thier USW brothers in Ohio and West Virginia. While they are eating special sandwitches, there are steelworkers in Warren, Mingo and the Ohio Valley on welfare and fighting to feed their families. This is all because of Ira,Goodwin and the rest of the ignorant employees at SP. The attiude at RG/SP is truly at the lowest level I have ever see seen at a USW steel mill, and it is shameful. They will lie, steal and do anything to keep a losing plant open and out of the public eye. 

    My eyes are wide open and looking at the entire RG Steel, and  RG/SP is no doubt the weak link in the chain. Vendors, customers are proof positive of this. Be careful, because plants like Walter and RG Georgie who joke about their fellow USW members being out being of work will eventually get theirs in the end.

    And thats how I like it.

    • Guest

      Don’t you know that Walter and  George are AKA John Cirri and Dave Polanowsk iand everything looks good when u lookout of their office windows.  They havent workedin the mill for so many years that they dont even no what its like for us workers in the SP plant.  Dont blame the rest of us for THERE SUPIDITY!!!!!

  • Tin Man

    I attended the union meeting tonite at 9477. I can’t believe that cirri showed his ugly face and now wants to run for local union Pesident. Hes quits and leaves us hanging and now he wants back.  he wont win this time with the Department of Labor looking over this election….

  • ByeByeBlackbird

    I attended the meeting and polanowski and blackburn looked like two asses nominating ten people for thesame position.  They cant even decide who the best candiadate is…. Made a mockery of the election process… With the DOL overseeing!!! How embarassing

  • Wci8757

    i thought he stepped down because of health reasons.

    • guest

      he stepped down because the Dol was on his ass and he couldnt deal with Mikaloff. Spent too much time under russos desk.

  • Wci8757

    maybe they didn’t reap enough the first time around thats why there comming around for seconds.

    • guest

      U got that right he didnt rape the plant enough and now ciirri wants to reignagain!!!!!

  • @BringBohBack

    Sparrows Point sounds like an excellent place to move production of NattyBoh!

  • February 11, 2016

  • February 10, 2016

    • Arguing that a trash-burning power plant proposed for South Baltimore would violate the federal Clean Air Act – and that its permit expired nine months ago – two groups are suing the New York-based company developing it. The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and United Workers today notified Energy Answers that they intend to file a […]

  • February 9, 2016

    • Some political candidates use Apple products to write their position papers and email their staff. Northeast Baltimore’s Rodney C. Burris dangled a couple of the trendy devices in front of potential contributors as a way of raising cash. In return for a contribution of $10, contributors get a chance to win an Apple Watch or […]

  • February 6, 2016

    • Emergency repairs to a 20-inch main will result in temporary water shutoffs to about 450 houses in the Canton area on either Monday or Wednesday. Service will be interrupted at 165 houses on Monday starting at 8 a.m. and ending about 4 p.m. The affected properties will be on Montford between Foster and Fait, Fait […]

  • February 4, 2016

    • On the eve of a trial set in Baltimore Circuit Court, a technology firm has agreed to pay over $160,000 to the city for inflated and false billings. Washington, D.C.-based Investment Management Enterprise pleaded guilty to one count of theft before Circuit Court Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill yesterday. An investigation by the Baltimore Office of […]

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • December 15, 2014

    •   “Ha ha, so not a surprise.” “Shocking…not!!” We get applause but also the occasional eye-roll these days for our accountability reporting – like last week’s piece about how tax cuts promised by the mayor as a selling point for Horseshoe Baltimore probably won’t happen, thanks to the casino’s lower-than-expected revenues. We get where the […]