RG’s Wheeling assets sold at rock-bottom prices

mingo jct ohio

Downtown Mingo Junction butts against the RG Steel mill, which will be scrapped under Tuesday’s asset sale.

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UPDATE: The bankruptcy court reports that Esmark Steel Group pledged $5.15 million in cash to buy the Yorkville mill from RG Steel Wheeling. Earlier reports in the local media put the pricetag at $4.7 million. A back-up bid of $4.9 million was made by demolition contractor Frontier Industrial Corp.

It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2008 the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Co. sold for $1.25 billion.

Tonight, records coming from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirm that the once-proud emblem of Ohio Valley industrial might was sold in scraps – and at scrap prices – as part of the auction of RG Steel’s assets.

The owner of Baltimore’s Sparrows Point mill, whose fate awaits secret negotiations among several possible bidders, agreed to sell its Mingo Junction, Ohio, unit for $20 million to Frontier Industrial Corp., a demolition and recycling company in Buffalo, N.Y.

This is a shockingly low price for an integrated mill that features both a $100-million-plus electric arc furnace installed in 2005 and an extra-wide 80-inch hot-strip mill, something Sparrows Point desperately needs.

Frontier will scrap the plant, but there is no mention of what it will do with the modern equipment. Presumably the furnace and rolling mill will be sold to another steel entity, operating either in the U.S. or overseas, at a good price.

Quintessential Mill Town

Rising up on a steep hillside from the mill, Mingo Junction is a quintessential steel town of modest bungalows, quaint churches and now mostly empty stores fronting Commercial Street and the mill gates.

Generations of workers passed through those iron gates. The 1978 Academy-Award-winning movie The Deer Hunter filmed key scenes in the town’s bars and fraternal lodges.

The plant has been idle since 2009, first under Severstal (which paid the $1.25 billion for Wheeling-Pitt) and then during the short reign of RG Steel.

RG Steel management rejected a slightly higher bid of $20.7 million by HRE Mingo LLC because it included additional assets that exceeded the $700,000 difference between the two bids. The auction sale is subject to approval by Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey at an August 8 court hearing.

The company’s Wheeling, W.Va. plant, about 20 miles down the Ohio River, will also permanently close.

Mini-mill steel producer Nucor Corp. was awarded the right to purchase its equipment and “intellectual property” (it was an important producer of rust-proof decking and highway products) for $7 million. There were no other bidders.

The Martins Ferry unit of Wheeling Pitt, which makes galvanized steel, will be sold to W. Quay Mull and Joseph N. Gompers for $2 million. Mull owns a small steel company and says he will keep Martins Ferry open.

Ohio Coatings Co. was sold to Esmark Steel Group for $1.5 million, contingent on the sale of RG’s Yorkville plant to Esmark.

Esmark has reportedly purchased Yorkville for $4.7 million and is expected to continue tinplate production there, according to local media reports.

Confirmation of the deal and pricetag has not yet been placed on the bankruptcy court’s docket.

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  • Leftone

    President Ernie notified the international that he wants to negotiate the new contract with servicestall m.s.c. alone. he doesn’t want to burn another one of their contracts on tv. price of lighter fluid is to high and the local is running out of petty cash.

    • union

      looks like all the 1190 people are going to be part of the coke plant, which they were before but the union screwed them ,they are going to have to have a realinement of people by seniority. thats the law.

      • theforcast

        heres the way i see it, they will make it look like mingo will run, but when, they dont know, in the meantime they will ask all the union employes to make up your mind mingo or coke plant, then after everyone decides then look out mingo is gone, remember your prez has 1989 time and he worked the cokeplant the whole time, something sneaky going on at 1190 again and again and again.protecting who this time.

        • Leftone

          Ernie found out last friday that Carmin Destefano put some people together with Frontier. He knew last friday they were talking about trying to run Mingo. He spent a few thous.of the locals money on an unnecessary trip just to make it look like he’s doing something. Thank you Carmin for trying. Shame on the financial people from that local who allowed this to happen and went along for the ride.

          • theinvestor

            hi, i have some money to invest in the mingo plant, who do i give it too earnie or carmen?

          • pencil

            and your for carmen, ok joe go get him with a pencil. LMFAO

          • Demolition man. Lol

            Leftone. Man I work for frontier and I live in Moundsville. And all I got to say is your wrong

          • diamond daves nuts

            hey demolition man  whats ya take on mingo   scrap it   or they going too try too run it 

          • Demolition man. lol

            from what im hearing your prez know all the facts, so call your union.

          • Harryballs

             ive got better chance of getting the truth off squirrels  balls sack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

          • union4what

            you are a fckingidiot if you think carman is worried about us the day after we all got this devastating news he went the next day to pittsburgh international to get prizes for the golf outing instead of golfing 1190 should  us the money to help a union brother or sister  with there medicine that they wont be able to afford

          • help

            my dad helped alot of younger people work with very little seniority including me , he worked hard every day he was in the mill and at the union hall. we used your dues to get prizes , paying dues payed off for me what about you.

          • fore!!!!

            I’ll let u know fri. nite if he got any good prizes

      • Leftone

        I hope you’re right, and I hope they have to train us on all the jobs. No way should Ernie and those young ones be protected while we’re on the street running out of everything. That great training program got to Bob Crowe and stopped, didn’t even get to the rest of us.

        • theforcast

          running out of everything? well hell were out of everything, you must have stayed on with the family and friends plan, was there anyone with more time than you layed off, you must have not been able to get elected  back in office , wonder why, now your for seniority. you backstabber!

        • guest

          ernie has done more in 3 wks than any other union official has done in years dont talk like an idiot

          • 1190

            in three weeks we lost everything. . .

  • loppy42

    Leftone, you must think u are so smart and u know information others don’t. how would the financial Secretary be in negotiations with frontier without the president and contract coordinator there. your name suits u right. your just a ball sack that doesn’t have any clue what’s going on. Why try to bring the local down when they went to to get first hand information from the court? What have u done since this happened? U just get on the brew and talk bull crap. just call the hall and ask. also if the trip cost thousands of dollars I’m sure the president would have let u go to if u asked Jackass. anybody interested could have went. just want to send prayers to all my fellow steel worker’s. we can do anything don’t let a few people like this give u false info. Stay strong

    • its overtime

      I dont believe you are correct on the identity of leftone; our local newspaper listed Joe Mannarino and showed apic of the people making the trip.

      • pencil

        why would they let that idiot go anywhere?

  • loppy42

    leftone, u kinda sound like a crying little baby. oh wait that sounds familiar! Is that u Joe mannarino. To chicken to ask people to their face but run behind their backs and talk crap. yep, must be u, wanna be union official.

  • Pauljones

    Dave McCall district is Rg Wheeling what’s he doing takeing care of Sparrows point ,telling Yorkville take the contract esmark offering .The best thing yorkville has going is a good president Jerry Conners who is all about union know none union workers in his plant. Thank you Jerry we our with you.

  • observer

    special meeting at 1190 union hall– Monday 7 pm

    • guest

      why didnt they tell everyone thats layed off?

      • guest too

        It was in Satyrdays newspaper and on both local TV stations.

  • BeenThere2020

    Some of you guys are funny. Everyone knows that Carmen runs 1190, as he should, the president is just a elected job title with no authority. If you need to ask if Frontier is going to run Mingo you you are really naive and need to start pissing in your own Cheerios, before the shit hits you in the face, Frontier is there to make a profit and they are going to scrap the whole plant piece by piece. The meeting at the union hall will go something like this….. Well fellows we know you are hearing all kind of confusing rumors out there but you have to trust your union, we are only here for you and as of right know we have some people in talks with Frontier and things are looking like we may have come to an agreement on the starting of Mingo, but this is going to take some time and as soon as we have some answers we will be the first to let you know, just let us do our job and everything will work out for the best. You will not here from them again for months.

    • guest

      why do you think he kept his son working all this time. he says he thinks he will be fine, but hes pretty sure the older people layed off for three years with seniority is fooked.

    • newsflash

      you big dummy!

  • warrenguest

    1190 is it true all the people there thats been off lost everything, insurance, pensions, there seniority and can never be called to the coke plant. is that what they told you at your meeting tonight? 

    • guest

      we were told that when the judge throws out the contract, u will lose ur sub pay the day that happens and u will have insurance til aug. 31. severstal is sending letters to approx. 200 people telling them they will have to be rehired as new employees at the coke works, everyone else is SOL because they were employed by rg which no longer exists. but have no fear, the word is McCall got an agreement from severstal to keep saunders and that lapdog ravasio in their positions. What do we need contract coordinators for when we have no contract

    • disgustedbut notsurprisrd

      all true, sub pay ends when they throw out the contract,insurance ends aug.31. severstal has taken the position that all employees who were at the coke plant  worked 4 rg steel which no longer exists. they r sending letters to approx. 200 people telling them they will have to reapply to have a job. BUT our pres.,  v.p. & chief shop stewart who DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO HOLD WILL KEEP THIER jOBS.  Also heard but don’t know if its true, is mcCall made an agreement to with severstal to keep the jobs of our contract coorindinators,John Saunders & Bernie “the company has the right” Ravasio. with no contract what do we need them for. talk about tiets on a boar hog.

  • ImNotADoctorButPlayOneOnTV

    The men and women of 1190 have nothing more to lose, what needs to be done now is to pull the workers from MSC as well as whats left at Mingo, and strike those facilities.  Regardless of any contract situation with those two places, the minute RG pulls the collective bargaining agreement 1190 should pull all of its members.  Take the stand that this weak union should have taken over 4 years ago!!!!

    • 1190reps

      doctor will you please come and help us find our balls, we only know where the companys balls are . . .

    • Outofwork

      if they do not go by seniority any one who has a younger guy working at mountain state carbon should ban together without the union or with the union and strike the place and shut it down if the older guys cant work nobody works make the union put up or but out.these are the older peoples jobs if this happens i will be calling the older guys to take a stand and shut this place down like you said we should have done 4 years ago

      • RUKingin

         I think they should go by the person that can write down the longest sentence without using capital letters, commas, or periods.

        • HATE UNIONS

          like you

        • Outofwork

          you do not need commas,periods,and capital letters to work those moron jobs at the coke plant. All you need and should need is seniority

      • help

        shut it down, dad and i just got new shoes. dad said there is no seniority, the 1190 union got rid of it in 2008.

      • Rjfand3

        please lets get somethinggoing on setting up pickets at msc this monday and see how many cross that line lets give mccall some headaches like he has given us and are familys lets all be there monday at 630 in the morning maybe then we will get some attention

  • roybean

    im on it

  • disgustedbutnotsurprized

    should be a lot of work for a good hangin judge

    • Judgeroybean

      im qualified.

  • 1190member

    this guy is no good i tried to tell all of you months ago, this is the same guy that wanted to take away the widows pension. how can this so called union guy question anyones qualifications on any job, when he should be looking at his qualifications, running to the company! well i been paying union dues to the steelworkers since 1973 and i know what a scab is,

  • Drew

    If the Union does not come to agreement with Esmark at the Yorkville plant, does Esmark have the option to eliminate the Union and hire outside people or does the Yorkville plant automatically go to the 2nd highest bidder (scrap company Frontier)??

    • sleepless-in-Warren

      Unfortunately the International has the right to come in and ratify for you.

      • Interested Party

        Not true. Contract must be approved by membership vote.  If International would approve with the members, then the International would have to man it also.



          • UNION HATER


    • Dave

      From what I’ve heard there’s not a union there now. My buddy got thrown off his bid job and thrown in the labor pool so a equipment tender could have his job. Told me he was loosing $60 a day and the union officers would laugh and walk away when he complained. Tender even had less seniority, same as 1190 and Msc.There is no union like we once had in the valley.

    • BeenThere2020

      Esmark does not have to come to an agreement with anybody, they bought the mill in bankruptsy court which voids any relationship with the union. They will most likely just move the equipment and orders to another location when this is over.

      • Interested Party

        Wrong. if Esmark doesn’t reach a labor agreement, they will withdraw their bid and the back up bidder will be awarded the plant.  Frontier is the back up bidder.

  • its overtime

    Give it arest…. we all know you’re not his son

    • help

      my dad will help you.NOT!

  • Dave

    You can count on the Lappers and Judas McCall to say yes to whatever Esmark wants!

  • help

    attn: dad and i got our letters today, were in.

    • Reality

       Congratulations……when do you guys start your new $14/hr job?


    WE need to strike MSC now, 1190 officials don’t want us to because that is their last lifeline for union dues, but we need to move without them. They obviously don’t give a RATS @#% about the men and women they have sold down the road, so why follow them any longer?????

    • RUKingin

       Because the Union members don’t have the BALLS to strike MSC, that’s why.

  • Guest

    Let us understand the situation. First off, 1190 is corrupt, it’s no secret. Actually, the USW is the most corrupt union out there right now. Look how defensive and arrogant certain officers get when [we the membership] ask them simple questions. This indicates a guilty and unjust mind. Especially Bernie and Santo. The Wheeling operations are done. There is nothing left aside from the 200 people working at the Coke Plant. They all will be starting over “fresh”. After realizing this, the best thing for the people at the Coke Plant (Mountain State Carbon) to do is to ALL get together sign over to Severstal, elect to DE-CERTIFY USW 1190 as their local union, and CERTIFY another union. This is the ONLY way to get rid of the “traditional corruption” and stupidity that is lingering at 1190, and has been for the past 20 years. Get rid of ALL the officers…Bernie, Santo, and more importantly that piece of shit Dave McCall will never be able to have a say in your lives anymore. Elect new officers and make sure NONE of them have any ties to the existing 1190 officers. Severstal is not saying they will refuse to recognize a union, they’re telling you all the truth….YOU ALL have the voice to elect ANY union whatsoever, no matter which one it is, and that the company will negotiate a contract. Don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors display that Ernie played out at the meeting. This is a scare tactic, to make us all scared and lull us into a false state of security into believing that the USW will come through for us. Don’t fall for it anymore. It’s time to start anew. Other unions you all could elect to certify could include: United Auto Workers; International Association of Machinists; United Mine Workers…ALL of which would be more than happy to have you all in their membership. In fact, half of the AK Steel plants and all of the Severstal-Dearborn employees are happily represented by the United Auto Workers and the International Association of Machinists. Look at their track records, talk to the members. There’s no corruption, no greed and spite among their officers. The United Mine Workers would be another great choice (since you all are using COAL). The Mine Workers are a very very strong and solid union. They are as strong and solid now as they were 100 years ago. Look into it guys, we on the Ohio side are done. It’s up to you all to dig in and make it work and to boot out the corrupt union that has caused us this great devastation. After all, the USW made the best choice for Severstal and the other mills, but the worst choice for all of us. We were sacrificed, so others could survive.

    • 1190guest


  • Loppy42

    Guest, your an idiot. go look in your mirror and bash Ur face in it a couple times and see if Ur any smarter. You should be revoked of your union rights. Think about what u just said and go jump off a cliff. Your putting information out there that is inaccurate and if people read it they are gonna lose brain cells trying to fathom your theory. I believe after reading that nonsense, I believe u fall right under rock scum for intelligence. You also sound like an affiliate of the Manny goody clan. dumb dumb dumb

    • The Professor

      De-certify the union, no one needs them anymore!!!  What have they done for

      their membership lately–ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.!!!!!  When the going got

      what did the union leadership do–turned their backs on the dues paying

      members and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.( except suck in a nice pay check).

      What a shame.

      • Guest

         I agree Professor..De-certify…but, de-certify the USW. I definitely do not promote a non-union environment though. Just an 1190-free environment. I think 20 years of corruption is enough. De-certify 1190, BUT certify another union right away. Definitely one that has no ties to anyone from the USW, and definitely one that does not have a “friends and family plan”…

  • Dave

    Guest, there is NO union at any of the W-P Plants.Only people getting a paycheck and trying to get on News-9.

  • Loppy42

    Listen are u guts any of the 200 that got a golden ticket then I guess u guys are outta luck. No sense in you guys complaining anymore cause u guys ain’t working. Retire and move the hell on, its not like Ur gonna change the people that’s working cause your not. Listen they are making money and obviously they wanted to do it so shut up and move on. Retire and go to McDonald’s or Walmart! If you knew the stuff was going on why didn’t u bring your fight to the hall you coward.

  • John Molnar

    Why in the hell are you typing your bitches on here??? You know there is only one way to save the mill….By FORCE!!! We all can still save Mingo and the rest of them we just got to sack up!!! So that’s why i ask you this now…How bad do you really miss your jobs!!!

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