Union lawyer seeks tardy entry into Sparrows bankruptcy case

The Brew pointed out that during the pivotal hearing last week at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware – where Sparrows Point was sold to a liquidating company – not one of the 75 lawyers present spoke on behalf of steelworkers or their union, the United Steelworkers of America.

We wrote, “The USW did not sign the list of parties before the bankruptcy court. There was no material presented by the union, and very limited remarks were made by the lawyer for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of which the USW is a member.”

Twelve weeks after RG Steel's bankruptcy filing, USW lawyer requests entry into the case. (Downloaded from court docket)

Twelve weeks after RG Steel’s bankruptcy filing, a USW lawyer requests entry into the case. (Downloaded from court docket)

We can now report that – after the sale and following the USW’s agreement to void its collective bargaining contract with RG Steel, leaving 4,000 steelworkers in Maryland and Ohio without benefits and without jobs – the union’s associate general counsel, David R. Jury, today asked the bankruptcy judge for “admission pro hac vice.”

Latin for “for this occasion,” the request allows a lawyer who is not a member of the Delaware bar to partake in legal matters in a Delaware court.

But given that there is little left of the RG bankruptcy case except for mopping-up, any future appearance or argument by the USW’s legal eagle will be a variation of the old saying about closing the barn door.

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  • Mickey 111

    its  over  for  SP…its  been  over….the  state  wont  let  steel  be  made  there  or  they  would  help  in  or  even  get  us  a  buyer…joe  rosell  is   way  way  up  the  creak  with  out  a  paddle…nice  try  joe…but  your  just  blowing  smoke  to  the  people…tell  then  its  over  so  thay  can  find  a  job  …apply  for  whatever…befor  its  to  late….

  • Mickey 111

    i  wish  the  govener  and  joes  good  friends  in  the  state  would  just  tell  him  to  forget  it…let  the  people  get  on  with  their  lives   and  just  move  on….sorry….but  thats  how  it  should  be….

  • Walter

    Mark now you can see why I too have had my fill with all these knuckleheads. I suggested  months ago to get on the ground floor with a hired mouthpiece. Well, the saying goes if you are your own lawyer – you have a fool for a lawyer – and the know it all boys wanted to attend to matters by their own means and just lost a perfectly good steel mill because they are hard-headed.  Then, as you say, they hired a high-priced mouthpiece AFTER the horse ran out of the barn! More dues money tossed out the window!  I do feel sorry for the lawyer, because if he had more advance time, he most likely could have done much to affect a more agreeable outcome. They have taken a hopeless situation and made it ridiculous.

    Walter – Retired and very Happy

    • Bill

      I see Walter that you have finally given up,i was hoping 
      and rooting for you about SP running again,it saddens me that you have given up.I see you are retired and happy now,well god bless you.I still hope on to a little hope for something.if not they need to just come out and tell us.I can take rule 85 but im waiting on the hammer to really fall.

  • Dr. Raymond Boothe

    I am proud to say that a small group of steelworkers from 1190 traveled all night to be in the courthouse before the judge to show the human face of the steelworkers. The group waited and waited for the court session to begin. After listening to the judge, they talked directly to the buyer in a closed session. Hopefully something good will come out of it.

    At least they tried. 

    • Mickey 111

      ok   so  you   keep  us  up dated…

  • SteelDude

    So if the contract is voided by agreement of the union, does this mean that Esmark does not have to deal with the USW if it doesn’t want to? (Short of a new union rpresentation vote)

    • Interested Party

      Nope, read the sale document.


    It appears now that they are (UNION) are now  trying to cover their asses in some way. Just does not make any sense the way these political MALPRACTICE affairs were handled from the beginning going back months  locally, district, & Internatioal level. Every USW member involved should make a call to the United States Department Of Justice in Washington DC. and make their voices heard. If they get enough calls or letters someone will have to investigate.

  • Fordtrkfan

    Wow, showing up to the party after all the decorations have been taken down really seems lame.

  • Maryland Esquire

    Unless the USW specifically directed its legal department (including General Counsel) not to make an appearance, there would seem to be no legitimate reason for any of its attorneys not to represent its client in those legal proceedings.  One has to wonder what the USW (and its counsel) knows such that the USW failed to enter its appearance until this late date.

    In addition, it is very common to hire “local counsel” to represent a party in jurisdictions outside of the jurisdiction(s) that the regular attorney is allowed to practice.  Pro hac vice admission is not necessary and, depending on the court, can delay the party’s actual representation in the proceedings.  Further, unless someone has specific experience in bankruptcy proceedings, the attorney would want local bankruptcy counsel to manage the case, make most of the filings, handle the deadlines, etc.

  • MICKEY 111


  • HS

    Looks like the USWA is trying to cover its collective butt, in the unlikely case the this deal explodes. By some miracle, if someone like Rosel or Reutter were to find a definitive smoking gun linking the state to the expedited auction or to chasing away operating bidders before the upcoming election, the state would drop it’s SP ambitions like a flaming bag of excrement. I imagine there a lot of politicians who very much want SP out of the spotlight and to Nov 2nd to slip by uneventfully. Who knows, it might be out there due to the high level of incompetence inherent in most state agencies.

    Just for giggles, somebody ought to file a FIA request with MDE and EPA requesting all communications made between them and CSN, Nucor, and the Optima Group over the last 6 months.

  • MICKEY 111


  • Maryland Esquire

    If someone is going to submit a PIA request, they should also seek all documents/communications between lobbyists and executive branch officials (MDE, MPA, MDOT, Governor’s office, etc).  RG Steel and Baltimore Port Alliance both have registered lobbyists.  Who else does?  Go here:  Click on the employer’s listing to find by company name.

    • MICKEY 111


  • RCheese

    The union put out an email today bashing the Brew for this article.  Good job USW – fighting the small battles but losing big on the ones that count!

    • MICKEY 111

      good  job  brew…………..

  • Epatte

    Wow, all this bad press and the USW is still trying to “sweet talk” the Siemens North East shop. They’ve already filed ULP’s and we aren’t set to vote until Sept. 6th. I’m going to assume this is a common practice used to distract prospective members from the real issues at hand. ie: how they’re going to screw you by using union dues for political gain, fat paychecks and outrageous expense accounts. ( or how corrupt the elected officers entrusted to watch over your dues can be. ( Luckily, we have some smart cookies at the shop and more than half have signed a petition “Against Union Representation” and others have revoked their cards. You can only get a real feel for the Unions and what they do (or don’t do) by doing a little research and reading your posts on the Brew. Thanks and good luck to all.

  • Donmartin3353

    It’s a shame there aren’t more illegal aliens working at Sparrows point then maybe the Obama administration and O malley may have done something.  Two years ago the gov. O malley  showed his intent on trying to close the Sp Pt plant down, until the Union and the management went to Annapolis.  Well Gov. O malley you finally got you way.  Ah the Democrats, take the USWA union money and then let the plant close.  When will the Union ever get smart.  NEVER.  

  • Jason

    There hasn’t been one word on news from Mikulski, Ruppersberger or O’Malley about the shutdown. These three pretended to be on the side of the union workers the whole time while working on the port expansion. It’s a shame that our dues went to these politicians. 

    • OxygenMaskedMan

      Jason the Point self-destructed years ago along with old Rustbelt industries all over the USA. The Point should have packed it up back when Bethlehem Steel went belly up. Ira only kept the rotting corpse on life support until no more flesh was left to pick. With modern steel mills in Europe and the Pacific Rim running at reduced production or giving up, there is nothing more that Barbie, Dutch, and O’Malley can offer. And as NASHORN said, it is better that they are looking over the horizon to the future. Looking backwards at the Point’s former glory is folly for all of us. We must commend our politicians for having the courage to move forward even though at this time, it is not popular with some of the temporarily displaced workers. Kevin in Baltimore County is doing a great leadership job setting up job fairs and helping with retraining and educational programs!

  • Dr. Raymond Boothe

    The USW Dist. 8 response to this is full of it, and within there lies the core of the problem. All they talk about is Sparrows Point. Well guys let me tell you that Sparrows Point was the plant that destroyed the whole operation. The so-called other mills did better than Sparrows Point and the so-called brotherhood of the USW completely ignored the entire other half of RG Steel just to keep the Point operating. Well buddies you blew the big one and destroyed the lives of almost 4000 loyal union steel workers. Really a great job. Nobody from Princeton or Harvard could have done any better. Congrats.

    There is no one in the USW can justify what you did to the workers at RG Steel. The worst job of defending steel workers in the history of the union. You set back union membership 100 years. At least to the great steel strike of 1919. Now every organized company in this country will read the USW new book “How to Destroy a Company and the Lives of 4000 steelworkers in Ten Easy Steps.” It will be a best seller for years to come. In addition it will be on the bookshelf of every Wallstreet liquidator and thief. Rennet, McCrow and Goodbar will be signing and passing out copies at their million dollar parties that the USW paid for. It will also pay for the gold plated statue of McCrow in front the National USW Hall.

    Today I recevived several letters from the Presidents and membership of the companies you helped to destroy. Their lives, families and hopes of making a decent living have been destroyed. This will go on while the USW lawyers, Rennert, Goodbar and McCrow
    sleep quietly in their beds, in their expensive mansions dreaming of all the cash they took in betraying American steelworkers.

    It is a shameful situation that the USW gave up its own for cash. Men gave their lives for the union and the nations steelmakers, but the union itself have not only took their cash, they also took their souls.

    • The Professor

      Dr. Boothe—-Amen on everything you say about the USW.  They were complete “NO-SHOWS” throughout !!!

    • WPSC

       Hey Doc, let me know when Dimebag McCall’s bronze likeness is set in place?? I will take my dog over to visit and teach him how to piss on The Dime’s bronze leg !

    • WPSC

       One other thing, Doc. Your comment presupposes that “the big three” actually have consciences and are capable of feeling shame. This is an untruth, as they both do not and cannot. I would bet they could definitely understand how incarceration in a prison facility would change their daily lifestyles, however ! This will be where I will continue to focus my energy. Since they were all complicit in destroying our lives and livelihoods,I feel that we should dig a little deeper and see how much collusion and nefarious intent can be found?? Nothing would be finer than seeing the three of them wearing numbers around their collective necks. Not
      unlike Ira’s pal and mentor below.


    • 1966mustang

      Isn’t it a shame that the usw is explaining itself on the brew! keep up the good work Doc !  you and Mark are the best !!!

  • OxygenMaskedMan

     Jason read Furnace’s article about all these alleged embezzlement charges, plus with all of the bickering going on at Sparrows, the EPA revelations, etc. and you can clearly see why O’Malley, Mikulski, and Dutch do not want to get their hands dirty or get involved in all the negative news and bickering going on. How can they help Sparrows Point anymore when we had five screwed -up companies own the dump and fail, and the workers find few positive words to say about their union?

     The politicians are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. More and more people are coming to the conclusion scrapping the place and quickly finding new options is the prudent course. To me, our elected State and Federal officials made a difficult decision to move on and are showing good judgement to wash their hands of the Point until the Port or someone else with common sense buys the land and develops it. Rustbelt businesses that are doomed to extinction like this dirty ole dinosaur just cannot make it anymore and they know that and so do we.  Already many of the Point’s workers are working at the Port and loving it while they are waiting for Joe and the boys to find a steel company to run the Point!  It could be a long wait? Go get your TWIC card boys!

  • OxygenMaskedMan

    Years ago your dues bought many political favors for Sparrows Point. Times have changed and the Democratic Party and Taxpayers have lost patience propping up a polluting Rustbelt Relic that is holding back progress. They and the citizens understand that by biting a painful bullet now, the future of the region and its citizens will be much brighter than to continue hand feeding a dying dinosaur.

  • OxygenMaskedMan

    Nashorn, Beautifully worded and concise answer why our politicians made the difficult and wise choice they did. For decades they did everything possible and even pushed the law to the very edge to protect the Point. There is nothing more for them to say because the mill’s rusty coffin is about to be sealed with the last nail. They have already spoken and offered the workers all the training and education needed to find good and secure jobs in the careers of their choice. 

  • baltimorebrew

    Here is the Brew’s response, published last night, to what the USW says:
    Tonight the United Steelworkers (USW) posted a statement on its Facebook page criticizing a Brew article about the union’s role in the RG Steel bankruptcy case, calling the article “shamefully devoid of any context.”

    Read the full text of the statement here.

    Here is the context, which readers can evaluate by looking at the case file of the documents cited below:

    On May 31 (the day RG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy), Susan E. Kaufman entered an “appearance request” for herself, Richard Seltzer of New York and USW’s associate general counsel David R. Jury at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington.

    An appearance request is the first thing done by an attorney in any civil case. It amounts to asking the court to enter the attorney’s appearance on behalf of the litigant. In their request, the three lawyers asked to be “added to the matrix maintained by the clerk” and provided all notices given or served in the RG case.

    All entries in the RG case are listed chronologically. This request was #0025.

    The next filing by the USW was made yesterday (August 21).

    That request was #0950, meaning 925 documents had been entered between these entries by other parties. (As we pointed out in the article, the USW is a member of the Creditors’ Committee, which did file a number of motions – but none of them specifically addressed or advocated for the rights, benefits, wages or employment of RG Steel workers.)

    Yesterday’s motion simply asked that David Jury be admitted pro hac vice (“for the occasion”) in a hearing Thursday that wraps up some details of the already-decided case.

    If you perform a case search of “David Jury,” “United Steelworkers,” USW,” “Susan Kaufman,” etc. – you will find that the USW played no additional role over the 12 weeks since May 31, during which time 4,000 union members lost their jobs, pensions, benefits and wages – and the major RG mills have been sold to liquidating and/or property redevelopment groups.

    • 1966mustang

      I think these guys are starting to get a little nervous.

  • 1966mustang

    good job furnace !!  your post speaks for itself!  I would like to hear Mr Strongs comment on that!!

  • 1966mustang

    well mr strong, what is your  comment to this ??

  • Bigpapapump

    just think if the government would of bailed us out like g.m.,,we would of had a great future  like them until 2020 and 200 million dollars later///

    • Nashorn

       2020? RG was going through $200 million every 6 months!

  • Oh hell no!

    reply to Furnace18 HRS.ago
                               OMG DAMNNNNNNNNNNNNN that bad?

  • Former Employee

    Make SURE you remember come November, voting time that Obama AFTER helping bale out LOTS of other businesses, did NOT help US! REMEMBER!

    • Nashorn

      That’s a scary post, an opinion I fear is shared by more and more…

      “My piece of the American Dream”, the opportunity to work hard and make something of one’s self, has now become “My share of the government bailout”

      The do’ers are becoming outnumbered by the wanters.


  • wasaprouduswaworker

    you from the international are all a bunch of worthless peices … you leo mccall are also a bunch of phonys. you fucked up the lives of at least 4000 familys and inocent children. i hope you all sleep good at nights. sorry i had to pay dues for 25 years for nothing. we all lost our livelyhoods and you will not face us. what a joke. please come to 1190 and face some pissed off steel workers.

    • Fearme

      This is to Mccall and his cronies,, Saint Peter will get even

      • Judgeroybean

        or me.

    • Folbee

      Amen Brother.. Those worthless bast….s will stay in Columbus and Pittburgh and hide behind their USWA phony capes……

  • Richpal

    What happened today with the 7 Million bid by Nucor for Wheeling tooling ?

    • baltimorebrew

      From Brew: It was approved today by the judge. (FYI: Nucor bid under the name of a subsidiary, Consolidated Environmental Management, Inc.)

      • Richpal

        How sad that Wheeling Corrugating in business for 122 years, with some of the most hard working employees could be allowed by a judge to be destroyed by a sleazy competitor, no matter what name they used. (FYI Wheeling Corrugating has supplied all the metal deck at the world trade center site going back to WT #7 in 2002.) I have worked as a sales agent for Wheeling for one year (have been in metal deck erection and project management for 42 years) I can say it was a great experience. Dedicated, caring, knowledgeable people put out of a job by a process that seems rotten to the core. Maybe someone, someday will write a book. Does Nucor/Vulcraft wield that much power, sure, just ask the steel fabricators who have to do business with these tyrants. Nucor/Vulcraft knows nothing about customer service, or engineering. My customers only purchased from them as a last resort.
        But what does the court or the judge care, yes i am naive.

  • Bry64

    after reading this list of crooks and embezzlers the usw has the gaull to blast the brew.

    • Ironworker

      Bry64 this could be why the Maryland politicians decided after 100 years of kissing Bethlehem Steel’s ass to sit this last one out and keep the stink of putrefaction off of their skin. You can not blame them. Last Christmas Eve Rennert made a fool out of O’Malley playing his good Irish heartstrings over the holidays. All the extra bailout millions O’Malley begged for went into Ira’s pockets other then paying the creditors and saving Sparrows Point. With the economy becoming worse with each passing day, how can the Local find a steel producer willing to purchase a plant that loses millions of dollars per day?  The Point has become a sick joke and no one, not even election year candidates want to be associated with it anymore. 

      But you can bet they will be out in full force to cut the ribbon of our newest, NASCAR, Horse Track, and Casino – Container – Cruise Ship Terminal. They call it the 3 “C’s” of the new Sparrows Point — Containers, Cruise Ships, and Casinos.

  • Mickey 111

    i guess  the  good  parts  will  be  sold…scrap  the  rest….maybe  2  yrs  of  scraping cut  all  the  over head lines  down  first………scrap  the in sides..cut  and  blow down  the  big  building..lot  of  planing…those  building  and  crane  colunes  are  huge..lot  of  under ground  tunnels….maybe  3  trs…depends  on  how  may  aeras  they  work  at  a  time  n  how  many  men  there……..wonder  if  any  of  our union  brothers  will  head  any  of  it  up…….well…if  u  made  it  to  60  or  so  u  hade  a  good  run….world  news  is  a  lot  of  steel  mills are  slow  or  down….thank  you  brew  for  all  your  information………..

    • Bry64

      there is an article on the amm page that says the sale of sparrows point and warren have hit a snag. anyone have access to that site to post the the entire article.

      • Mickey 111

        type  in  amm…it  aint  nothing  there  about  sp….if  anything  comes  up  the  brew  will  post  it….

      • Nashorn

        Here’s the only “snag” I could find.

        The Baltimore Sun noted that two coke vendors, Vanomet and Oxbow had objected to the sale on the basis that the three week deadline to remove their coke (190,000 metric tons) was too short and asked that the deadline be extended to 120 days.The judge told them to work it out with the buyers and come back.Here’s the link:,0,1099325.story

  • 1966mustang

    where did everyone go?

  • Fred

    you have had the last 6+ years to prepare, what has happened since Beth Steel went under that would make you think that working in the mill was a great career choice?

  • Glad to be gone

    Yall voted for the idiots, I didn’t

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