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  • Severstal ramps up production — in Mississippi

    Severstal ramps up production — in Mississippi

    While about 1,200 Baltimore steelworkers face at least another two months of layoffs at Sparrows Point, parent company Severstal is increasing production at its “greenfield” mill at Columbus, Miss. Severstal is in the midst of doubling the mill’s annual steelmaking capacity – from 1.5 million metric tons to 3 million metric tons – and has […]

  • Text of Severstal’s 11/4/10 WARN letter to employees

    Text of Severstal’s 11/4/10 WARN letter to employees

    Sparrows Point November 4, 2010 To All Severstal Sparrows Point Employees: Today we issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) Act letters to state and local government officials as well as to the United Steelworkers of America (USW) consistent with our obligations under the law. These filings detail the lay-offs of employees affected by the […]

  • severstal office

    Severstal to extend closing of Sparrows Point furnaces through March 2011

    The steel company cites a poor economy for the lengthened shutdown, while the local union president says the company is to blame.
    *UPDATE* FULL TEXT OF SEVERSTAL’S 11/4/10 WARN LETTER TO EMPLOYEES. CLICK THROUGH TO READ.

  • ehrlich and o’malley

    Feeling the heat of Sparrows Point layoffs, Gov. O’Malley and other Democrats will meet with Severstal

    The governor’s spokesman says he has been “deeply involved” in trying to save jobs at the mill, as its Russian owner seeks a buyer. The challenger’s camp calls his efforts “too little, too late.”

  • Top Severstal official guiding Sparrows Point shutdown leaves

    Top Severstal official guiding Sparrows Point shutdown leaves

    Alexander Pogozhev, Severstal’s chief operating officer who helped oversee the current idling of Sparrows Point, is leaving the steelmaker “to pursue other opportunities” effective today, according to a memo issued internally yesterday. Pogozhev was the leader of a team of Severstal engineers, known as “the Russians” by Sparrows Point employees, who have dominated decision-making at […]

  • Severstal confirms Brew post of Sparrows Point shutdown

    Severstal confirms Brew post of Sparrows Point shutdown

    Confirming yesterday’s post on this website, Severstal announced today that it will extend the shutdown of its steelmaking operations at Sparrows Point through the fourth quarter of 2010. Previously, the company indicated it would reopen the furnaces next month. The company held open the possibility that the furnaces will be closed longer, saying the facilities […]

  • Severstal confirms Sparrows Point layoffs

    Severstal confirms Sparrows Point layoffs

    A Severstal spokeswoman and the president of the union confirm today in The Baltimore Sun what the Brew reported yesterday:  that Sparrows Point will begin temporary layoffs for 500 workers.

  • Coal basin (Photo by Mark Reutter)

    Severstal draining benzene-tainted Sparrows Point oil reluctantly — and very slowly

    First opposed by the steel company, but now trumpeted as a symbol of its environmental commitment, their pump extracts a relative thimble-full of polluted oil a day.

  • severstal-steel-side-1

    Severstal confirms temporary shut down of steelmaking side of Sparrows Point

    Severstal issued the following statement to the Brew tonight: “The primary steel making facilities at Severstal Sparrows Point will be idled in response to weakening market conditions as well as the need to balance inventories within the plant. The facilities will be idled for about 30 days beginning in late June but no later than […]

  • Severstal asserts confidentiality in Sparrows Point “belching” probe

    Severstal asserts confidentiality in Sparrows Point “belching” probe

    by MARK REUTTER Severstal Sparrows Point says that nearly all of the documents subpoenaed by state environmental officials examining dirty-gas “belches” at the steel mill are protected from public disclosure. Of nearly 2,700 pages submitted to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Severstal asserts that all but 29 pages “contain trade secrets and other […]

  • Severstal and union agree to extend restructuring talks at Sparrows Point

    Severstal and union agree to extend restructuring talks at Sparrows Point

    by MARK REUTTER Severstal North America and the United Steelworkers union agreed yesterday to extend the existing contract for another 120 days – officially to “engage in problem-solving … that will benefit our employees,” but in reality to hammer out job restructuring at Sparrows Point and other Severstal mills.

  • State clears Severstal of responsibility for steelworker’s fatal fall

    State clears Severstal of responsibility for steelworker’s fatal fall

    by MARK REUTTER The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MOSH) found that no safety standards were violated at Severstal Sparrows Point in a fatal fall that killed a 60-year-old steelworker in February. A banana peel found by employees in Vance A. Dickson’s hand led the agency to support Severstal’s contention that Dickson’s fall from […]

  • Be supportive of Severstal, Russia’s Putin tells Hillary Clinton

    Be supportive of Severstal, Russia’s Putin tells Hillary Clinton

      by MARK REUTTER In a strange twist to international relations, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Severstal, embattled owner of the Sparrows Point steel mill, needed a welcoming embrace from U.S. authorities. “They need support. They need signals that they are welcome,” Putin said of Russian companies […]

  • Severstal's Response

    Severstal's Response

    SEVERSTAL’S RESPONSE Severstal spokesperson Bette Kovach issued the following response to questions by The Brew about the uncompleted or out-of-service waste recycling projects: “Severstal North America has owned Sparrows Point since spring 2008, only a few months before start of the worst recession to affect the steel industry. Throughout our operating period, management practices have […]

  • Merry Christmas from Severstal: we want to lay you off!

    Merry Christmas from Severstal: we want to lay you off!

    by MARK REUTTER Union steelworkers at Sparrows Point are reacting with fury to Severstal North America’s proposal to start a permanent jobs reduction program, which was to have included 140 layoffs during Christmas week, according to documents obtained by the Brew. Following tense negotiations in Cleveland last week, the company backed off its original plan […]

  • Severstal seeks to curb its liability for harbor pollution

    Severstal seeks to curb its liability for harbor pollution

    by MARK REUTTER      Faced with potentially huge environmental costs, Severstal North America has told regulators that it is not responsible for investigating or cleaning up Sparrows Point-related pollution that entered Baltimore harbor before the company purchased the steel plant in May 2008.      The company’s objections threaten to delay action to reduce high levels […]

  • 9/29 Severstal press release and 10/9 Severstal incident report

    9/29 Severstal press release and 10/9 Severstal incident report

    mediareleaseandreport – sparrows

  • Severstal says no final decision made to close Sparrows Point blast furnace

    Severstal says no final decision made to close Sparrows Point blast furnace

     By MARK REUTTER Severstal, the embattled Russian owner of the Sparrows Point steel plant, has mailed a letter to employees denying that a final decision to shut the “L” blast furnace has been made, saying only that “different production scenarios are being considered.” Last week, the Baltimore Sun reported that Thomas Russo, plant manager, told […]

  • Best of Brew Comments

    Is City Hall rolling the dice by moving ahead with a South Baltimore casino without a completed traffic study? Some readers think so. And how good will the casino jobs be – a question others debate as the NLRB accuses the Inner Harbor Hyatt Regency of unfair labor practices.

  • Fate of economic powerhouse Sparrows Point should become clearer this week

    Fate of economic powerhouse Sparrows Point should become clearer this week

    Even down on its knees, the Sparrows Point steel mill was an economic powerhouse for the Baltimore region. The sprawling mill on the southeast edge of Baltimore harbor produced $1,492,098,714 in sales in the 12 months prior to its bankruptcy filing on May 31, court records show. In addition to a direct payroll of 2,000 […]

  • mingo jct ohio

    RG’s Wheeling assets sold at rock-bottom prices

    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 […]

  • tenniel top

    Best of Brew Comments

    Hotel workers have their Norma Rae moment. Cell towers on school roofs raise eyebrows. Steelworkers lose their lunch over bankruptcy lawyers getting $1,090 an hour. Speaking of losing your lunch, how about those anti-abortion posters at Artscape?

  • victory rally 1942

    Several groups emerge as potential buyers of Sparrows Point

    Steelworkers who had pinned their hopes on a “white knight” swooping down to restart Sparrows Point may get their wish. The Brew has learned that two foreign companies and one domestic steelmaker have filed papers as potential buyers of the mill. (UPDATE: name of domestic steelmaker revealed by sources.)

  • sparrows point last year

    With no buyers in sight, lenders aim to liquidate Sparrows Point

    Hopes for Sparrows Point to resume steelmaking are dwindling, as a new filing reveals that no buyer has stepped forward and bank lenders are planning to liquidate the company’s mills under a planned auction. Also revealed in court papers: RG Steel lost more than $440 million over the last year. ((UPDATED))

  • Ira-Rennert-NY-Police-Commissioner-Raymond-Kelly-e1320543145335

    Sparrows Point owes Baltimore $5.4 million in unpaid water bills

    The mayor says the city can’t maintain the current number of fire companies and recreation centers because of budget shortfalls. If only she had insisted that the big steel mill at Sparrows Point pay its water bill. Then the city would have plenty to pay for both firefighters and rec centers.

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