USW Fighting Severstal over Movement of Equipment at Wheeling Corrugating
According to local news reports, the United Steelworkers Local 1238 is trying to prevent Wheeling Corrugating, a Severstal NA company, from moving equipment out of one plant to another.
Trucks arrived at the Wheeling Corrugating plant in Beech Bottom on Monday morning prepared to move roll formers used to make steel decking and building product panels. The local union workers would not allow the drivers into the plant and they ended up leaving empty, according to WTOV news.
The union was resisting the movement of the equipment feeling if located elsewhere it could ultimately jeopardize their jobs.
What makes the story so interesting is according to the Severstal NA spokesperson, “The equipment that you are referring to came out of other Wheeling Corrugating facilities in Indiana and Minneapolis, which were closed in 2009. The equipment was only stored at Beach Bottom, but never ran or operated at Beach Bottom. Although I cannot comment on the Union’s recent action, the union was made aware of this move several weeks ago.”
Industry sources told Steel Market Update on Monday evening a portion of the equipment came from a former decking plant located in Gary, Indiana and the balance of the equipment was from a building products plant closed in Minneapolis, MN. The equipment was being moved so that it could be refurbished and then moved to where it was needed.
Wheeling Corrugating has shut down a number of plants due to the economic crisis which has hit the construction markets especially hard over the past few years.
Our sources advised SMU the president of the United Steelworkers, Dave McCall, had been advised of the pending move and he had agreed to it.
We also learned the Beech Bottom plant which contains a paint line and roll forming equipment used to make decking is not running its existing equipment at capacity.
The Martins Ferry plant on the other side of the valley is a building products facility which is also reported to be working at less than capacity according to our sources.
The WTOV news story indicated the USW Local 1238 union was seeking an injunction to keep the roll formers at the Beech Bottom plant. Our sources indicated the expectation is the equipment will ultimately be allowed to proceed to the facility where the refurbishing can be done.