Sparrows Point is in a “liquidity crisis,” union president says

Some layoffs are expected next week as the steel plant suffers a large downturn in orders.


An aerial view of the sprawling Sparrows Point steel mill in 2007.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Members of United Steelworkers Local 9477, Sparrows Point, received sobering news tonight that the steel mill is in a “liquidity crisis” and “running day to day” because of a credit crunch.

The statement by local president Joe Rosel confirms reports in The Brew and elsewhere that parent company RG Steel, owned by billionaire financier Ira Rennert, is in dire financial condition.

According to well-informed sources (the media was banned from the meeting), Rosel likened the company’s condition to its status at the end of last year, when it was forced to shut down the blast furnace because it could not secure raw materials from unpaid vendors.

The blast furnace was reopened in January when the company received an emergency $130 million cash infusion from Cerberus Capital Management. Last week, the blast furnace was shut again for routine maintenance, according to the company. The furnace is currently running.

No Cold Mill Orders After May; Layoffs Expected

In an email tonight reviewed by The Brew, another union official, David Dearborn, told members that the plant’s main finishing operation, called the cold mill, has 32,000 tons of orders for May – and no orders beyond that at present.

“Starting next week, cutbacks will begin,” Dearborn wrote. Layoffs are expected at the coated line and other departments.

“Bottom line is, this company is out of cash again and now apparently out of orders,” he wrote. “Bills are not being paid again and the company is back to penny-pinching mode.”

The email continued: “The press has addressed our financial problems publicly and customers appear to be leary [stet] of dealing with RG. With any luck and hope the company will be able to successfully find customers to place orders with us to keep us running.”

“The bankruptcy rumors are premature as of now and have no truth or validity as of now,” the email concluded.

RG Asks Permission to Sell Sparrows Point

In another key development, Rosel confirmed tonight that RG Steel has asked for – and received – permission from the USW to put Sparrows Point and its two other operations in Ohio and West Virginia on the market for sale.

Under a unique contract with the union, RG Steel may negotiate a sale of the company to new owners, but the International USW has veto power over any transfer.

There are no confirmed reports that the company has taken steps to sell the mills (although it’s been widely rumored that Rennert is seeking a buyer from overseas).

RG Steel also talked to the USW about wanting the union to find a buyer.

At a meeting last week in Columbus, Ohio, the company called on the union for wage and benefit concessions, which were flatly rejected, Rosel and USW District Director Billy Thompson said tonight.

Wage rates at Sparrows Point and other RG mills at Warren, Ohio, and the former Wheeling Pittsburgh mills are below those of U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal and other USW-represented mills.

Rosel, who officially became president of Local 9477 today following an election monitored by the U.S. Department of Labor, blamed the downturn of orders on a stalled economy – and also said layoffs are a distinct possibility.

The Baltimore County mill employs about 1,600 union workers and more than 400 contract workers.

RG Steel’s spokesperson, Bette Kovach, was out of the country and did not respond to a request for comment tonight.

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  • Sptaxiwatch

    Let the crying begin. No money=No subpay or benefits for the SP employees.

  • banjo

    Let the union find a buyer?    Maybe Aunt Bea, and Andy will buy us.

  • Palkie2

    So sorry to the vast majority of workers,who I`m sure gave it there best shot.Inept management destroyed this company.Why these people didn`t sit down 6 months ago,and say, Sparrows Point is killing us,we need to shut it down,I`ll never understand.Nothing against SP workers,the plant was just too far gone,contrary to what Walter and George have been saying.Dr Ray has been right on everything,and nobody listened.I`m also quite sure the judge will allow those incompent big shots to walk away with nice bonus checks,a reward for destroying a company,it`s the American way.

  • Chris_herren09


  • Jason

    Union corruption is the downfall of Sparrows Point. There are still two union halls worth over a million dollars a piece not being sold. Instead our dues go to keeping these halls running with no return to the membership.

    The international union spends our dues to fight the Department Of Labors decision on corruption findings of the last election. All those resources should have been spent on securing a contract with Severstal instead of delaying it for over two years. All other unions were able to secure a contract in the industry except ours.

    There has never been one mention of the steel industry on the unions site. The international has only talked about the auto workers and tire manufacturers. They look at the steel industry with contempt which is sad to say. Thanks to the Brew for shedding light where it needs to be since our union would not do the same.

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    As I have been telling you all along SP would be the death of RG Steel. Nobbody listened and nobody cared. It is so sad. One of the worst operational plans in the history of steelmaking, wth the worst management and the worst owner. In addition, I told you that the market for the agricultural products (coating line) and cold products was nearly non- existant.Selling undercut coils and slabs to the Russians just do not cut it-anywhere.

    The death of the company started last week when they started to lay-off their professional people. The lack of raw materials, the failure to make payments and stiffing the customers are typical of Ira Rennert’s operations and John Goodwin’s inability to manage a steel mill. And AS USUAL Betty Duct Tape has been trying to cover up all of these problems all along.

    There will be layoffs soon, as operations begin to shut down. Its a damn shame-the company had so much potential if it was managed correctly.

    Ira, Goodwin, Betty Duct Tape and the rest will walk away with their pockets full while the steelworkers pay the price.

    • WarPig

      Dr.Doom to say no one cared and didnt listen is a out right lie. I dont think there is one person who works for RG that does not care what happens to the company and if there is they should have quit a long time ago.
      People listened to things that were posted here. some of the things were out right lies some the truth and some speculation and some were just comical.

      You are right it is sad that we are in the situation we are in but as usual we the workers can only come to work do our jobs at the best of our ability and and hope that the people in charge can do their jobs and make the company viable.

      As it has turned out it looks like that possibility is dwindling very rapidly .

      I know that you are not a big fan of the Point but i also hope that you were just showing your frustrations about what the company was doing when you said the Point should die and never start up again.  If not i guess you are blowing up the balloons and hanging all the decorations for your Die Point die party. If you are doing that it sure is a sad day .

      To all i can say is its not over till its over and if its over for RG then lets hope someone sees what the potential is of all the plants and its workers and comes in and gets everyone back to work making steel and making money for us all.

      Lets also hope that the International can right all the wrong that they have done and gets back into going in the right direction .  


    • George

      Ahoy, The Maryland Bay Pilots are saying two large bulk carriers are sitting down below the Chesapeake Bay bridge filled with raw materials for Baltimore. I predict that as soon as the ships now in port at the SP docks set sail you will see all the raw materials the mill can use as these big bulkers head up to the Point to unload so no need to worry about SP falling into the river, all is well and I like that!

      Capt. Georgie

  • Walter

    I bet that the big shots are out of the country with Miss Bette and when they all return we are all going to have good news that either the company was sold or partnered to a big overseas company with deep pockets and their own source of ore (Ore mines) and coke, or the company has secured new customers and capital investment to tie Sparrows Point over until global market conditions improve.  Their is plenty of coke and ore on the ground and orders will certainly pick up as the customers know a good product that can be supplied from SP at a fair and reasonable price.  We have all heard these doomsday reports before and SP has always come back stronger. No need to worry, the orders and investors always come back to SP and this time is no different.  Rio Tinto in Canada would be a good partner or owner as they have unlimited ore just up the coast from SP, and the South Americans or South Africans are looking to enter the US market and they have their own ore mines too.  Unlike the Dr. Doom’s Valley Mills, SP is in the driver’s seat!

    Dr. Walter Phd. BS

    • Wci8757

      and the great dave mccall said they were not flippers. they were in it for the long haul. that was almost as funny as that performace bonus to enhance you earnings in that glossey piece of garbage contract summary.

    • Wci8757

      walter. when the big shots went out of the country did you take them to the airport in one of the companies rolls royces. i bet you took the one george ground the crome off the bumper.

  • Mtngirl

    I will not bad mouth Ira Rennert, he gave Sparrows Point and Warren another year. I just wish SP could have started making money instead of dragging us (Warren) down with them. I do not believe Ira bought the company to destroy it. I have heard he put 500 mil. out of his own pocket into it, he has to stop the bleeding sometime. Ira ran Warren for 18 years, we ran good until other countries started dumping steel below cost into the United States, I believe 36 mills went under then, we were one of the last. Rumors are going around Warren that he already has a buyer for us, we will have to wait and see if it is true.

  • Unellu

    Killed by globalization and cheap steel from all over the world.  Killed by the auto industry’s malaise.  Killed by the fact that gas prices are high, people want small cars and small cars need less steel.  Killed because the building industry is languishing and new high rises that need steel are not being built, a dime a dozen.  Killed because management and unions have not come to terms with these facts. 

    Who knows.  Another Russian oligarch and kleptocrat may appear.  Certainly no other country in Europe has the financial muscle to take over Sparrows Point.  Or may be the Chinese would see money in it.  At the rate they are building defunct cities with no care in the world, they may be interested.  Or the Arabs, they are the other rich kids on the global block.  On an aside, Manchester City, beat Manchester United, in a thrilling upset and guess who owns Manchester City’s football team?  Abu Dhabi. 

    It will be delicious irony if the Russian govt. makes an offer for Sparrows Point.  I am sure Putin would love to own something American as apple pie.  We live in strange times.  As for the Republicans claiming that communism was defeated by Reagan– they live in la la land as usual. 

    What happened to Cerberus capital’s 100 plus million dollars?  Ira Rennert has to pay them back.  They part own this operation now and like all investment firms they will want their pound of flesh which Rennert must deliver.  Don’t expect him to sell his obscenely large beachfront home in NY state to meet the bills. 

    Only someone with deep pockets can take over this failing operation.  Again only the Arabs on their Arabian steeds–on second thought, not even the Chinese–can do it.  I’d talk to the Sheikhs if I were Ira.  

  • Lmarkle4

    hey george i would b willing to bet u r one of the guy’s walking away with your pockets full of cash if the management and ira  believe in god u will someday pay for all u have done i have never wished any harm on anybody but before the good lord takes me i would give anything to see ira and all his gutless management lose it all brothers and sisters we r getting nothing from the international so we r all and i mean all of us r on our own so maybe washington should wake up 1 morning and see millions of us on the front lawn demanding they for once do there job when do we stick together they could tell us tomorrow that they r shutting all of us down june 1 and everybody would still show up till then and ship the steel left our fore fathers fought and died for what we have enjoyed now it is our turn or r we to gutless to stand and b real men and women i have heard enough people say well i got my pension if that is how u feel take your double dippin asses  and hit the road we have people that r lazy and do not want to work when do we brothers and sisters finally tell them get the hell out same as management quit milking and get to work good luck to all of u loved being a steelworker and still care about us all if there is a bus to washington for a picket i am there HEY LETS TAKE A RIDE TO IRA’S BIG OLE HOUSE  love u all and good luck cause we r going to need it

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    How are you yellowtails going to pay for all these wonderful raw materials when you do not have one penny to pay for them. Certainly you guys are not so stupid to think that Ira is going to personally pay your bills when you have not even come close to making a profit. You are so deep in debt that it will be impossible to recover.

    Another MAJOR point is NOBODY is willing to buy your products. Why should they when your products are returned and you stiff customer orders. Your customers are NEVER going to return because Sorrows Point cannot be trusted to complete an order. Georgie unless Ira pays his bills SP will not only drown in the bay, it will drown in debt alone.

    Yes Warpiglet NOBODY CARED. If you started out Mingo and Warren first the company would have had a chance to be started on solid ground. I have posted no lies, you yellowtails just did not want to hear the truth. Your stories about ships, Tiki Bars and how well the Moon was operating were a great laugh but when you get down to brass tacks you had terrible ownership, clownlike management and no orders to boot. And you wonder why everything is in such a mess. The Wise Men of the West were telling you everything but you had cotton stuffed in your ears.

    Sorrows Point continues to be a weaker plant and less interesting to any buyer. Hopefully Ira and Betty Duct Tape are living it up in Rio on union money trying to strike a deal. Ira had better to be ready to deal, because it is going to be hard to unload his big turkey living on Moon Point.

    • Outside Looking In

      I hope you know that if RG files bankruptcy all the mills will suffernot just SP.Oh tgats right it doesnt affect you because your not a steelworker.Did you every stop to think that your crusade of halfs truths and bad mouthing of the Point would not have the desired outcome.I wish my Ohio Valley Steelworkers the best of luck.And my good Dr what have you actually accomplished with your rants? Have you gotten one layed off person from 1190 back to work?So so long and farewell.

      • Dr Raymond Boothe

        I hope some decent buyer comes along and buys the mills, but buys them seperately.
        SP is the the problem mill. The Western Mills would like to operate as a seperate company. Warren, Mingo, Yorkville, Martins Ferry,Beech Bottom and the other half of the coke plant could form a fine company. Sorrows Point poses an entire different problem and needs an experienced steelmaker to address their problems.
        Debt is another cronic issue that has been laid heavily on any sale Ira comes up with.

      • Lmarkle4

        u r wrong outside llc corperation allows ira to file on all or 1 or 2 he does not have to file on all he could file on s/p and keep the rest so look up your facts

        • Outside Looking In

          LMarkle didnt say that he would file on one or all.Do you actually believe that with how screwed up they have done everything else that they would do that right?Also as the good Dr is quick to point out RG is not paying any of their vendors at all of the mills.Will the problems at 1190 with seniority which predates Rg just go away ?Only time will tell.

          • Lmarkle4

            well if he dumps s/p there is a half million $$$$$ a day he can put into the other mills

    • WarPig

        Dr. Dr. Dr. enough is can stop the name calling ,stop your pitch about the western plants, stop your hatred of the point and all that goes with it,stop your beating on your chest , for gods sake you WIN!!

      Break out the champagne and your caviar ,light up a cigar. light off the fireworks and have yourself a great party. It looks like your wish maybe coming true RG steel maybe no more  so dont forget to call all your western plant buddies and celebrate the demise of 2000 more jobs added to the ones out there, because that has to be a reason to celebrate..

      George and Walter  please do not push his buttons anymore let the bitter man have his day let him rejoice in the misery that will become us joining the western plants in being unemployed .


      • Dr Raymond Boothe

        I have a good feeling that somewhere down the road the Western Plants will have a buyer (If Ira and the USW lets it happen). Severstal will not not the coke plant go under and Warren, Yorkville and Martins Ferry still can turn a profit because of their quality products. A smart steel company will pick up Mingo.

        If the Moon survives it will have to be someone who wants a foot in the international steel business and has resources of cheap ore. This really limits the sale possibilities. And selling a problem mill like SP today (in the days of over-capacity) just won’t be that easy. It will be a big challenge for Ira and his buddies not to lose their total shirt on this one. But again, why would Ira care anyway.He hopes to use the Point property as his personal museum.

        Maybe you, Walter, Georgie and the rest can be get a job at Ira’s museum as guards or gatekeepers. He really likes to pay his workers the least possibe, but again it is something. Charging entrance fees at his museum will help pay all the legal fees and unpaid bills that resulted from owning the Point.

        Maybe Ira’s overseas junket (paid by the USW) with Betty Duct Tape will produce something. They have been trying to flip the Moon for a long time.

        • Warpig

           Dr. you just cant let it go can ya ?

          • Dr Raymond Boothe


        • guest222

          Doc…. Wouldn’t it be a lucrative move for a company with deep pockets( such as CSN) to buy the Point just to have the deepseaport alone???

          • George

            Yes Guest 222, Sparrows Point not only has is own deep water seaport, it also has many freight train sidings and two rail lines out, as well as its own Exits onto  Interstate 695!  SP has over 2,500 acres of prime manufacturing heavy real estate, so expect CSN to offer top dollar for the Point.

            Capt. Georgie & Crew

        • Al A.

          whats warren going to do when they have to start buying spot  market ore for there operation in the near future with an older furnace than the point?  

          • Wci8757

            probably borrow some off george as he has an abundence of it.

  • Rmoe15

    i think the only ones that havent owned us .is a mexican drug cartel,  and china.

  • Sick of Mark Reutter’s lies

    Reutter your a piece of shit!! Show some balls and post this!!

    • Anonymous

      Sick of: show some class and acknowledge you’ve seen this so I can take it off our otherwise civil website. f.s.

    • WarPig

       tell us what he has lied about

    • WPSC

       Mark is the only person who tells us all what is really going on !! You SP guys should be thankful that you have somebody of his caliber that gives us all an outlet to communicate !

  • Unellu

    Sick of Mark Reutter’s lies,
    The truth hurts and it must hurt so much in your case you want it to be a lie.  And by the way it should be, “You’re a piece of so and so”” not “Your a piece of so and so”.  I guess your teachers didn’t teach you how to distinguish possessive pronouns from regular pronouns and I guess they didn’t also teach you how to tell the difference between truth and fiction.  I’d like to imagine you’re a piece of fiction. 

    Perhaps you are Rennert himself speaking from the bowels of his mansion but perhaps not.  The man’s grammar couldn’t be as weak as yours?

    Anyway, if you are Rennert, hire yourself a good grammarian.  If you are Rennert’s spokesperson, get some polish.  If you are neither, quit Sparrows Point and study English.  There may be money in it if the likes of Ira Rennert hire you to type up their obits before they pass into the great blue yonder.  An obit a day keeps the grim reaper away sounds like a good superstition and obsession for the super wealthy and you could tap into that superstition for your next career if you devote yourself to the English language..     

  • Sparrows Hater

    I feel bad for the guys at SP but it is time to give up the ghost.  Guys like Raymond just don’t get it, man.  You think the economy is going to recover and the Point will be fine.  No, Nucor Berkley will kick your ass everytime and so will the rest of the integrateds.  There is only one BF in the US that is less efficient than L Furnace – Wheeling’s BF.  And Wheeling’s BF has not run in 4 years.  The Point lives on construction which has no near or mid-term chance to recover.  Manufacturing has pretty much vacated the East Coast so the Point is shipping farther and farther to customers.  The Point also makes tin but totally screwed up shutting down before Christmas and losing the entire year’s tin business for 2012. Tin won’t come back to the Point in 2013 either – at least not with a profit.  RG has to sell at heavy discounts because customers don’t trust their steel will show up or it has quality issues.  Suppliers to RG demand COD for raw materials.  Expensive materials and no customers = death to SP. 
    Not telling all you USW guys to jump off the Key Bridge but it is time to start thinking about your individual next steps.  Stop thinking about how the Union is going to bail your asses out again and a new owner is going to restore the glory days.  Nothing can fix a 130 year old inefficient steel mill.

  • Beentolong11285

    You SP guys make me laugh and it is funny to me. When you greedy retards voted in the new contract you thought it was great that SP was going to run and Mingo was going to stay closed, but now you get to experience the same feeling except there will be NO subpay and no health care for you, like they say, what goes around comes around, lol. The sad part of it is that some of the smart SP guys will have to suffer because of a corrupt union and some fellow workers that bow down to the union, even when they are getting screwed by their own actions. The Ohio Valley will rebound thanks to the oil and gas industry, but what will happen to Sparrows Point? 

  • Jason

    The brew has spoken on behalf of the Steelworkers for several years. The international has never mentioned the troubles facing Steelworkers in a Steel Mill. Lets look at how many articles the brew has written about Sparrows point compared to the international. The truth is a scary thing.

  • hammer2010

    walter & george   you know that nice big plate of B.S. that u have been serving up on here, well guess what u grew it now u have to chew it. and know what george says . i dont like it.    The BIG L –  The Beast Of The East.   

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Guest-You must understand that by operating a wasteful and non-profit making plant you have cost a thousand jobs in the Ohio Valley. If you had shut down the losing hot end of SP the company would still be in business and the job loss would have been much less.

    • George

      Sorry Dr. Doom, but Mr. Ira cranked-up the Sinter Plant last night, DTE is running full out keeping the big L all heated up and we just finished loading coils onto another super-sized export ship!  So your reports that SP is closed up are just pure fiction.  The joke is on Dr. Doom and his Rustbelt Circus because 21219 is running just fine and the boys are making high quality slabs and coils, so cork your Champagne bottles, as SP has more than 9 Lives and I like that!!!

      Capt. Georgie & Crew

      • Common Sense


        Please tell us, Why Isn’t RG paying their vendors ?  

        If everything is fine and dandy in 21219, Why can’t RG pay it’s vendors ?

        Georgie, If RG Steel made a quality product, took care of it’s customers,  AND paid their vendors (within terms), WE all would like that !!!!!

        What say you GEORGIE ?

  • Kumonster

    Tick,tick,tick tick,tick time is running out!!!

  • Wewillbevictorious

    This article is nothing but a bunch of lies against SP by Reutter and some mis-informed hater. I bet he doesn’t post this one. Reuter will not be happy until the lives of the steelworkers is ruined. He continues to  post false hoods in this paper trying his best to scare our customers away. Sparrows Point has proven that they can make steel, make money and satisfy our customer base. With the right owner and raw materials the Beast of the East will run for yet another 100 years, providing customer satisfaction, jobs, and money in the bank for the owners and investers. We have people who care about our products and our profits. So take all of your negativity, sour grapes and sparrows point bashing and stick em where the sun does not shine, because the star of Bethlehem will continue to shine even through the BS in these articles!! Bank on that!

    • Warpig

       Tell me WeWill what exactly are the lies in this article ? just wondering

    • Jason

      You need to stop bashing someone for shedding light on the truth at Sparrows Point.  There are no errors in the article you or the union can point out. You should be demanding answers from the local. They are the ones to blame for not sharing information. Show the world one article or interview the union has put out concerning the steel mills. If not then continue reading the brew for your information.

    • Dr Raymond Boothe

      Your customers were never there in the first place. Your inability to pay your vendors, deliver on your orders and sell damaged goods is why you are dying. Not the Brew. Mark and I can only report on what we know-and we know you are in the total sh– pit. You are not taking care of your customer base in any way shape or form. Customer satisfaction is a total joke-Where have you been?-In Fantasy Land? The star of Bethlehem burned out years and years ago, and you are just as burnt out as much as it is. Sorrows Point has been a loser for years even under Bethlehem and there is not the SLIGHTEST HOPE it will ever come back. It may get purchased by an out of country investor, but it is history as a major steel producer.

      Better wake up-reality is really hard on the old brain. Tick-Tick

      • Trek948

        Dr. Ray, what if any affect do you think a bankruptcy filing by RG will have on the Severstal lawsuits ?

    • Blast Fce Man

      Did you ever notice when someone says something that someone else doesn’t like or does’nt want to hear that it has to be a lie? I don’t know Mr. Reutter but I believe he makes every effort to accurately report anything in the “Brew” because if the “Brew” had a reputation of not printing the truth who would bother with it? I also don’t believe he takes any joy in ANYONE losing their livelyhood. He didn’t scare customer’s away any customer wheather in industry or you or I has the right to expect quality,value, & on time delivery & if any of these are missing trust will suffer and we will look elsewhere. As far as making steel,making money & satisfaction that may have been true at one time but does not seem so now. I believe the major problem is Ira, he is what one would refer to as a Industrial Slumlord as long as money comes in O.K. but no expenditures unless it’s someone else’s money. Also if you think he care’s if the live’s of anybody that works for him is ruined I’d like to sell you a machine that turn’s lead into gold. The other problem is twofold poor management, & a union that has become self serving  our Father’s & grandfather’s are spinning in their graves!!! The Holy Grail of unionism is seniority to allow the junior man to work while the senior man is laid-off is against everything our union stands for. I never understood how a union offical could represent the rank & file & be on the board of director’s . Kind of seem’s like a conflict of interest does’nt it? The only way we will ever be victorious is when we start doing what is right for all & not just what is right for ME.

    • scabhunter

      you guys beeter shut out the lights you people at sorrows point has been bringing wheeling pitt and warren down for 3 years now hopefully we at 1190 can show you all how to make steel and money all we need is the right owner and scum bag mccall and the international union stay out of it they are 3 and 0 right now please dont go 0 for4

    • Sparrows Hater

      Hey Mr. Victorious, your post is exactly what I am talking about.  Bank on what?  You just don’t see the forest through the trees.  With the right owner SP will be victorious?  Bethlehem, ISG, Mittal, Severstal and now RG are not all retarded.  Who do you think should own SP?  Trade in your USW pensions and retiree health care promises and the USW could own the Point for nothing.  I would love to see how well the workers can run the Point.

      And with the right raw materials?  You think all the purchasing people were dumbasses in the previous owners?  When the Point invented Galvalume in the 1970’s were the last glory days.

      Every Tom, Dick and Harry and major player in the world has looked at buying the Point since 2007.  Esmark was willing to pay $1.3 billion in 2007 but the financing fell through – just for SP.  Ira got SP for nothing and still can’t turn a profit.  In fact, SP has been nothing but a money pit.

      Customers think you suck.  Raw material vendors think you are a deadbeat.  Vendors are suing and not shipping.  SP is sucking all the life out of what little RG has going on right now.  Mark my words – SP will kill Warren.

  • ImissISG

    I can’t see the wisdom of doing what RG did to its hourly and salary workforce.  Completely demoralizing to the employees and stingy with any sort of news regarding the true state of the company, the plant staggered along until the vendors cut them off.  Running hand to mouth in all departments (that are still running), finally caught up with the operation.   We really need to plan our next step.  I feel for all the Ohio Valley workers who got the shaft earlier than SP.  It is time to think of our individual next steps, even if a buyer is found.  I do not agree with all the negativity of the Dr., but he’s correct for suggesting that we look elsewhere for jobs for the long-term viability to support our families.  If you’re a SP worker looking to permanently relocate to the area, please think twice.

  • SteelDude

     Let’s score another loss by V. John “Gold Chain” Goodwin.  It is time to review his history.

    He’s the master of the flashy start.  I have to ask you RG guys… When he came to RG, did he have a fancy road show with all sorts of promotional material explaining how “seasoned” he was?  Did he hit the local bars with union officials downing shots and comparing gold chains? Conduct profanity-laced business meetings?  Lots o’ big talk?

    When he showed up at National Steel he launched his “National Steel is Back” campaign, (it even had a cheesy theme song) which was a joke and rejected by pretty much everybody. Gold chains, flaming shots, bad toupee, and a standing hotel room at the Varsity Clubs of America at Mishawaka.  He and his gang ran self-promotional materials like they were the 1919 White Sox.  He even bought the company a share in a private jet, and bought a mansion on the St Joseph River so that the company could entertain customers (who basically had no interest in it).  The groundskeeper was not fond of cigars stinking up the place and the foul language and was fired.  After a while, nobody knew where to find him.  Anyway, eventually the company performed poorly under his ‘leadership’ , he started fighting with the owners in the press (the Wall Street Journal ran some interesting stories), and had his CEO title stripped after two years in the seat, after he had conducted a series of vindictive firings.  He was then allowed to resign, unceremoniously.  The jet share and the mansion on the river were immediately disposed of.  The owners rehired the gentlemen that had been fired out of vindictiveness.

    But as bad as his performance was at National, at least he only screwed things up there once.  He got to screw things up TWICE for Wheeling Pitt.  I am guessing that much like he did at National (and his first time at W-P)  The Gilded One has pretty much disappeared (big talk and the bar scenes no more) and few people talk know if he is in the office any more.  Am I right on this?  Just curious to see if it is happening again.

    We know this for sure… The FAILURE of V. John Goodwin has repeated once more.  I wonder who the next mill owner is who will drink the Kool Aid…

    Maybe he was a decent unit manager.  But he is no steel executive.  The employees of National deserved better. The workers at Wheeling Pitt deserved better.  The workers of RG deserve better.

    • WPSC

       Ahhh. I see somebody else knew Gold Chain immediately prior to his stint as the CEO of the hot dog stand ! I was beginning to think that maybe I was one of the only people that are affected by his current decisions that remembered him from his steel mill destruction days of yesteryear ?? Very good post Steel Dude ! Very good indeed ! This enables those who are not in the know to understand why we are knocking on the doors of bankruptcy now !! If anybody else has any fond memories of he who wears fake hair, by all means, please enlighten us here on the Brew ??

  • Jason

    Steelworkers local 9477 is the only union not to give their members contract books. What are they hiding. Still waiting for the union to show where the Brew lied in this article.

  • Jason

    Blast FCE Man-your posts are head on. The Brew only prints out stories that affect our lives in a neutral basis. Sometimes we are going to love it and other times we will hate it. The self serving greedy union bosses are the main reason we are in this mess. Their answer to this article is ordering us not to read the Brew. McCall and his followers can not control free speech. This scares him especially with an election for him coming around the corner. 

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Guest222-Actually, even if you did not run the steel plant for a while that might work out as a great idea. I still think that if RG had started Mingo, Warren, Yorkville, Martins Ferry, Beech Bottom and the coke plant first, they could have eventually developed enough business to start running the cold mill again and started a decent ship repair business at the Point. This would have likely happened under good management and not operating L furnace.

    As far as Georgie is concerned he really needs to be shipped to a hospital for serious treatment. He thinks that coils and large amounts of ore are still coming to the Moon.The only life that SP will be having will be as a scrapyard. Nobody (except in another country or another planet) would even consider buying the scrap coils that you produce. RG own plants had to return your trash. Quality is NOT a key word on the Moon. You have produced NO long contracts of any worth in slabs, coils or coating products. NOBODY trusts the Point no more. It is a scrap pile of its former self. 

    In this case you are the only joke. Sorrows Point is like watching a bunch of demented clowns dancing in the courtyard of an insane hospital. Have you noticed that you are BROKE-Have you noticed that L furnace put you there? LOL Koo-Koo. You, Ira and your Koo-Koo buddies are the comedy that the steel industry has longed to see. Maybe you can stage it on Broadway.

    • Steubenville 1190

          I agree that starting Mingo instead od Sparrows would have been a better business decision . The problem back when this started was that they had already idled Mingo and Rg steel decided that starting Sparrows because of contracts with companies and the amount of workers that would have been laid off to shut sparrows down with sub and benefits would have cost them 30 million a month to keep them down instead of 5 million a month to keep Mingo down . That is why they made the decision they did .They put all the eggs in one basket and it didn’t work , because they lost 30 million a month anyways . I don’t think if we started Mingo up instead of sparrows , it wouldn’t have worked either,because we would have lost money from sparrows again being down and losing 30 million a month from being idle . The only way this can work is to separate the mills and let a owner invest money in each plant instead of trying to keep 3 plants going and not upgrading them because Ira didn’t want to put money in them . Our biggest down fall is when the international insisted on selling all 3 plants together. This was doomed from the start . I hope they sell these plants and give all of us a chance with owners that want to invest in each plant or has resources that can compete to make them successful . I hope it’s not to late for Mingo . Good luck to all.

    • guest222

      Snap out of your HATE mode DOC…….. I asked a simple question and you replied to me as a SP worker. “you,you ,you” . I work at 1190 MINGO !!!!!!!

      • Dr Raymond Boothe

        Sorry guest 222-Must have got my posts mixed up.

  • guest
  • WPSC

    Still not sure what part of the Brew article you birds feel is not factual??

    1) Liquidity Crisis : Nelson concedes that RG does indeed have a crisis but attempts to minimize it by saying that ” a depressed hot band market impacts all steel producers ”

    2) Order book : Again, Nelson does what he is supposed to do by deflecting the answer to a generalization by stating ” all mills are experiencing a weaker order book without definitively answering the question !

    3) No Layoffs planned : Nelson says “workforce levels are adjusted to to match production requirements.” Wow, really ?? Another dodge ! So Nelson, what you are saying is no layoffs today, but all bets are off for tomorrow and beyond ?

    4) Plants for sale : The key point here is Nelson raising the non – disclosure agreement. Basically saying that if we are looking for a buyer, we will never tell you anyway because we run this company like the government ran Los Alamos. And if somebody did tell you, they shouldn’t have and I will deal with that !

    So, in retrospect, what we have here is the same thing we have always had . RG Steel saying absolutely nothing but feeling a pressing need to say something because they have been called out by the Brew. So, once again, thanks Baltimore Brew for keeping all of us steelworkers apprised of the nefarious inner workings of Rennert Inc.

    • Interested Party

      How about that their customers and lenders are supporting them WPSC? This statement  goes against what the Union is saying.

      • WPSC

         Ok interested. I am going to break this down for you systematically. Apparently, this was an issue that I did not elucidate on nearly well enough in my initial post, so I will spoon feed it this time.

        1) Customers are supporting us. Ok, which ones ? Specifically ? Name them ? Do you really believe that a customer exists that would go to bat for RG ? I do not.

        2) Creditors are supporting us. Sorry my friend, but there is no way in hell anybody that works for RG and isn’t currently on Thorazine and in a rubber room would believe this one ! If the creditors really were supporting RG, why have vendors been getting stiffed for the last 4 or 5 months ? Why are no provisions being made for absolutely necessary repairs ? Why is ” mums ” always the word with this joke of a company ? How much was Betty Duct Tape compensated for her tongue when it was surgically removed? Was it worth it?

        If you require any additional debunking, by all means just drop me a line on here ?

    • 1190 Scab

      Great post WPSC, You are spot on. I believe Joe Rosel, SP could’nt have voted in a more honest and intelligent man. He came out and told the truth! Thanks Joe.

      • WPSC

         I completely agree MTE. Joe Rosel seems to be a good man, indeed. Trouble is, the boys at SP aren’t quite sure how to take him because he speaks the truth ! Hopefully, our new 1190 leadership can emulate his integrity ?

      • scabhunter

        amen joe rosel a real union man a least he is speaking the truth some may not like it but i love the truth even if it hurts maybe 1190 will follow suit we have been jacked around for the last 3 years it is way past due

  • Jason

     You or your corrupt union can show where the brew has gotten any facts wrong with this article. They are too busy wasting our dues money fighting department of labors decision about malpractices of the previous election. The founders of the union are spinning in their graves looking at what this union has become.

  • Fordtrkfan

    Well I know the schedule for next weeks Cold Mill is down significantly. Claiming they only have 32,000 tons left to run to fill the last orders. Down to 3 1/2 days next week. If that is what folks call running smoothly and no problems, I will buy the next round at the nearly sunken Tiki Bar!

    • Pointworker

      That may be true regarding the CM for next week but we are getting a lot of HR and CR orders coming in for June along with some nice coated orders.

      • Sparrows Hater

        Pointworker, are you really Goodwin or Nelson?  Tell us who the customers are that are buying all these nice HR and CR and coated orders.

        Betty Duct Tape on vacation or out of the country is hilarious.  RG is facing an unsurvivable crisis and she has a blackberry/iphone/laptop and is unavailable?  In 2012 taking a vacation for salaried managers means spending a couple hours a day dealing with emails and critical business.  Betty probably just feels “the company spokesperson could not be reached for comment” is better that “we are filing bankruptcy tomorrow”.

        Mark Reutter and the Brew thank you for this chat board!  I can’t think of any thing like this where everybody gets to share info. 

  • MTE

      Doc, We were told by management this morning that the tandem mill  at Yorkville will be out of rolling oil by Friday,  RG owes them over 1 million dollars and they will not deliver anymore oil. By the end of dayturn management came around and said we would be getting a delivery tomorrow, but they did’nt seem very confident. If it is delivered then they found some money somewhere.

    • 1190 Scab

      Ira Rennert, here’s a man who pays $10,000 a night when he stays  at  the French Riviera. He paid $80 million  each for apartments for his daughters in New York city. He has a 200 car garage and lives in the largest private home in North America, and he wants wage and benefit cuts from already underpaid steelworkers. Really gives you a sense of loyalty does’nt it? GREED at it’s worst. Can’t help but believe there’s a special place in Hell for people like him! 

      • WPSC

         Now that was a good post !! No, I take that back, a ” GREAT” post !!

    • Dr Raymond Boothe

      Sorry to hear about the oil situation at Yorkville. It is a shame that the good employees at Yorkville got involved with a dead beat like Rennert. I pray that something positive will happen at Yorkville and the employees in the valley.

  • Jason

    The company spokesman tells Steel Market update that he doesn’t know of any layoffs and the union is rejoicing. This is when there are people currently laid off and many more to come beginning next week.  Someone should contact steel market update and let them know how they have been lied to.

    • Lmarkle4

      y dont u contact them ohhh u hide behind a false name

  • Kumonster

    Tick ,tick,tick,tick she’s just about singing!!!!

  • Kumonster

    Couldn’t agree with you more WPSC!!

  • Kumonster

    I see some coal out here in the back yard, looks like Severstal is getting ready for the big move either by the end of this week or the beginning of next!!!

  • Chris_herren09

     GET THE FACTS  YOU NEED TO BE DRUG TESTED  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    There is no detail at all in Mr. Nelson’s story. Again it is all company BS. It is totally wrong. What would you write with your job on the line and Ira, Goodie and Betty Duct  Tape “pointing a gun to your head.” In other words he writes what the company tells him to write. No facts at all.

    The Brew is getting to him.  LOL

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    The L blast furnace needs to be shut down period. It is way too big for your BOF’s and your markets. The best capital improvement for you is to to build an EAF
    and combine it with a continuous caster. Eliminate the blast furnace, BOF and the coke plant all together. You would save millions and have a productive plant. In the 21st century market L blast furnace is economically unfeasible.

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Severstal will certainly take over the coke plant if RG has not paid for the coal. RG is responsible for the coal purchases and I am sure Severstal has been behind the scenes working with the coal companies to sell it to Follansbee. RG Steel is a deadbeat company and the coal companies have resisted selling to them unless they have cash up front.

  • Anonymous

    Ira. I would like to publicly apply for the job of communications director ! I am of the opinion that I could do a much better job than the tongueless one and I am already an employee. Of course you would have to call me back from the street and afford me an opportunity to reintegrate myself into the corporate hierarchy of RG Steel. But my goal would be to make the company more user friendly and profitable, and to be accessible to the media and the membership ! If you are seriously considering my offer, you can respond to me on here ?

  • Jason

    Here is a post from the 9477 Facebook page
    athan Ervin
    Hey is there any truth to the baltimore brew did joe even talk to them
    Like · · Follow Post · Yesterday at 5:30am via mobileDonna Wade likes this.Gary GMajor White HmmmYesterday at 6:30am via mobile · LikeJosh Sines No
    reading the article it seems Reuter got it second hand from someone at
    the meeting last night, bits and pieces of what he said. And Dave
    Dearborn def did not speak to him, Reuter got that from a zone comm that
    Dave put out to cold/coated at 9pm last night, basically updating our
    mill for what our orders are. Reuter is an asshole an half the stuff he
    said in that article was a complete fabrication.Yesterday at 8:39am via mobile · Like · 2Nathan Ervin Ok thanks josh whoever is leaking union meeting stuff to him should be shotYesterday at 9:10am via mobile · Like · 1Ryan Haglund Shot is a little far. Tar n feathered?Yesterday at 9:17am via mobile · Like · 3Jason Bailey Finally a haglund post that wont get removed from lmaoYesterday at 11:05am via mobile · Like · 4Nathan Ervin No
    shot is wat they should get because that wat I would to any I caught
    stealing from my family and thata wat it does by leakin ur union
    businessYesterday at 11:12am via mobile · Like

  • WPSC

     Since when have you ever been a naysayer, George ??? The only thing I have ever seen from you, or Walter for that matter, was both of you dressed as cheerleaders complete with pom poms and frilly dresses ! ! Not unlike your last three posts ! As for your feigned stupidity regarding  ” hip-hop text messages ” Can you put your cheaters on and read the one that stands out like a sore thumb that advocates a fellow union member being shot  for speaking the truth ??? Huh ??? How about when one of your other fruit-loops suggests tar and feathers and the first responds that isn’t good enough:  
    ” No
    shot is wat they should get because that wat I would to any I caught
    stealing from my family and thata wat it does by leakin ur union
    businessYesterday at 11:12am via mobile ·

    No more bullshit from you ! There is something seriously wrong with you freaks over that way ! I am not painting everybody at the point with a wide brush, but anybody that would advocate another union brother or sister being shot for speaking the truth should be on a 5150 hold for a few weeks !! Incidentally, thanks for having the balls to post that Jason ! I am beyond disgusted with this whole mess !

    • George

      WPSC you and your nit-wit friends have me confused with another poster, as I  would never say such violent words.  Do you know that the company and police can trace each and everyone of us posters?  So be nice and remember that Big Brother is watching your computer.

      On another topic, I really enjoyed Dr. Jr. sharing the good news from Mr. Nelson. Nice to have the facts from someone in the know!  RG is a great company and is here to stay because they are adapting to a changing world market.  I only have things to say about RG because of the good I see with my own eyes and I like that!

      Capt. Georgie & Crew

      • WPSC

        I didn’t say that you wrote it ! I said, quit playing stupid and acting like you couldn’t understand what was said !

        • George

          Hello WPSC, thanks for making it clear that I believe that we can make progress without calling in the goons of yesteryear to play wack-a-mole. I know that emotions run high at times, but our end-goal is all the same – to continue iron and steel making at our favorite mill in a safe, productive, and profitable manner for the work force and communities that mutually support each other!

          Capt. Georgie & Crew

  • Pointworker

    You are correct OLI, this is only a blog for the free exchange of ideas where as the SMU is an actual news letter that looks at the steel industry and market from both sides with professional reporting. The problem with blogs is that a lot of the readers think that the 100% truth is written on these pages but as we know, that’s not the truth.

  • ACarnegie

    I believe the situation could be improved with Frickesque tactics.

    shed the union then lock them out, import destitute foreign labor, working for
    half the current rates, break and ignore all take or pay contracts on services,
    buy commodities at global market prices.

    • George

      I really like that Frick Art collection of Old Master Paintings in New York City.  Mr. Ira is building a great art collection too and this says much positive about the man.  Many great industrialists have given the world great collections of art and I like that.

      Capt. Georgie

      • Dr Raymond Boothe

        Good Georgie-Maybe Ira will hire you as a guard at the new art museum he is planning to build after he shuts down Sorrows Point. He is going to call it the “old masters of the flip.” It will feature all the industries he has ruined and all the lives he has destroyed.

        It will a wonderful addition to American crime culture-and you should like that.

      • scabhunter

        would you please jump in the bay and see how long you can hold your breath you need a good old fashion blanket party   and i like that

        • Wci8757

          you only like that. hell i would love it to death.

  • Stan

    Dr. Boothe: You proposed option of leasing out the steel mill’s Sparrows Point existing port for ship repair doesn’t appear very viable in today’s business climate. Currently, there isn’t even enough ship repair business to keep  the existing Sparrows Point shipyard active. The site, sold by Mittal to a Boston company years ago,  is being marketed to potential lessees as a general “industrial complex.” Among other things it is now being used for are waste management activities that led to a huge trash fire there a month ago.

    • Dr Raymond Boothe

      Thanks Stan-I didn’t realize all of the that. You would still need the existing ports if SP was rebuilt as an EAF/CSP operation and sold overseas.

  • Guest #19

    Hey Georgie and the rest of you die hard Ira backers check this story out on Ira.

    If link does not work search house of lead to find out how generous your owner is. And educate yourself on Ira’s recent lawsuits in Peru.

    • observer

      Yes; thank you Guest#19. George and Walter both need to watch this clip about their hero, Mr Rennart. See how he poisoned a whole town in Missouri and is doing the same in Peru.   I just wonder how he sleeps at night!!!!     

    • Warpig

      question… if everyone in RG steel was working making money and RG was a viable company , would you protest these things and not go to work?

      I know you are only pointing out how Walter and George exaggerate and lie but what is one to do?

    • Lmarkle4

      great post guest#19 and the sad part is nobody cares they will keep going to work to take care of there self like i have said before we need to get the government involved they brag how they saved general motors what about us they r throwing us away like trash they send our young men my son is 1 to war to liberate other countries but they tear us down and we stand by and take it what ass holes we the american people r people starving living on the streets but yet we bitch and still do not even try to do anything it is time to say fuck it i work hard everyday to try to make warren work and all these brothers and sisters do is worry about overtime this is sad warren is scambling to find anything we can for scrap tearing buildings down useing anything we can to run scrapping the ground for any iron ore to use they r getting no more glycol oil for the caster or 56 in mill so the big shots say fuck it we will take the chance of burning them up so we keep on running and everyone keeps going to work i have been fighting cancer for 28yrs been givin a yr to live 3 times come back to work to make this place make it so my fellow brothers and sisters and even the white hats in the mill when r we all going to stand together if u all think this lil ass jew care u better WAKE UP what ever happen to all for one instead of bashing each other we should b on the street picketing and calling government officers to get off there asses and stop this bleeding gm is not the only one that needs help these mills have good people working hard to make a living but they think they r better then us all they only come around at election time they r all crooked republicans and democrats they all talk the talk but after they r elected they spit on the working man if you have kids and grandkids how do u look them in the face everyday knowing that we have no balls to fight for them like our fore fathers fought to give to us

      • Outside Looking In

        I think for the most part the Brew gets it right.But i take issue with running a story and using a post that was intended for people in the NCM.To use it to flesh out a blog story that without it wouldve fell apart.Did Mr Dearborne  comment on the record for this thread?And if he didnt why wasnt that put into the thread?Its sad that something that was intended to inform the people that he repersents what was happening was used to sow more uncertainty.

    • Dr Raymond Boothe

      This is what I was talking about about a month ago. These operations in Doe Run, in Peru and other places have been an embarassment to American industry and the American way of life.

      His mansion should be bulldozed into the sea and the ground salted.

  • Warpig

    I dont feel that any dues paying member needs to go to  a  facebook or myspace page to find out whats going on . Now dont throw this ” well if you went to the hall you would know” line either.

    I went to meetings and saw some disturbing things. Officers calling another union member a communist a faggot etc. So much political posturing that it would make you sick.

    You bring up something they dont wont to hear you are called out of order. The union is a mess. The union will take a person that is truly involved in wanting to help everyone not this ” i am in this party so i will go against anything you do because you are in the other party” and break em down .

    There is no need for any political parties within a union. That alone shows division from the start.

    I thank the Brew for what it does here. The brew is no different then any other web blog or a paper for that matter.They report what they see or is given to them from their sources. Newspapers do this all the time . Are the sources right all the time , are they wrong all the time.. no they are not. but it is up to the reader to read and take what they want from it.

     If the company and the union would address these issues in a timely matter people would not have to resort to hearing rumors.

    • Jason

       The union should have condemned a member who wrote that someone should be shot for giving the brew information on their Facebook page. All dues payers should be allowed to voice their concerns without intimidation. The personal attacks on members that disagree with the union at the union hall or workplace are a disgrace. The Brew is the only outlet for members to voice their concerns. The union still has not shown where the Brew was wrong. Instead they tell their members not to read the Brew.

      • Outside Looking In

        I dont have any problem with people voicing their concerns.I have a problem with someone giving something that was intended for the people of the NCM and Coated Products to the Brew.We have enough to worry about with having to worry that something that you say in a closed group will be lifted and put on here.Yes there is no excuse for threats of violence.Just as there is no excuse for violating the trust of others.Before the FB pages were brought online there was no ready place to share information in a timely manner .Now with the threat that anything said will be lifted it just takes us back to the old days .So thank you whoever you are for that. 

      • ucrybaby

        stop crying ! the union as you call it dont even condem scabs!

  • Outside Looking In

    RG may be looking to sell, report saysMay 17, 2012By LARRY RINGLER , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.comSave | Comments (2) | Post a comment | The future of RG Steel remains unclear after an online news report that the company may have asked the United Steelworkers for permission to sell itself.
    Union spokesman Tony Montana said he saw the report carried by the Baltimore Brew from RG’s Sparrows Point mill near Baltimore but said he had no knowledge about it.
    No company spokesperson could be reached for comment Wednesday.
    The Brew’s report this week indicated union leaders at Sparrows Point had told workers the situation was serious and that a sale was possible. According to a labor agreement, the union must approve a sale that RG would negotiate.
    It wasn’t known if RG’s Warren’s steel mill might be included in any sale consideration. RG bought the 1,100-employee mill in March 2011 and is operating nearly all departments, in contrast to Sparrows Point and Steubenville-Wheeling operations, parts of which are idle.
    RG Steel, controlled by New York financier Ira Rennert, who owned the Warren mill for nearly 20 years, earlier this month cut pay and some benefits for salaried and nonunion workers in a cost-saving effort. Union workers were unaffected.
    Last year, the company raised about $100 million from Cerberus Capital Management L.P. to stay in business. The cash crunch caused the company to idle its Sparrows Point furnace Dec. 22, although the Warren mill continued to operate.
    A unit of The Renco Group Inc., RG Steel employs about 6,000 union and roughly 500 salaried workers. It said it’s the nation’s fourth largest steelmaker with annual capacity of 7.5 million tons. © Copyright 2012 Tribune Chronicle | All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Save | Comments (2) | Post a comment |

    Hers a story on an Ohio paper and id only has two comments and they are about Obama.Know i know why there isnt an outcry in the Valleys.Nobody is discussing it in the local papers.Do you think that if there was over a thousand comments like on the one thread or even the 91  on this thread that it would wake some people up? 

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    How much rolling oil was delivered to Yorkville and is the plant receiving any coils? Were the seals replaced?

    Dr. B

  • Dr Raymond Boothe

    Georgie-If there is a God (and I hope there is) Ira will go straight to hell and not collect $200 dollars.

    • MTE

      No, the seals were not replaced. The crane in the Roll shop had a broken bridge drive motor. The Tandem crew went home  at 10:30 Thurday morning. The crane will not be running until Friday morning at best. The place is a mess everything breaking down.

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