Attorneys Argue Motions On Geneva Steelworkers’ Lawsuit
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ An attorney for 1,700 steelworkers at the Geneva Works when it was owned by USX Corp. has told a federal judge the company defrauded the workers when it reneged on a promise to keep the mill open through 1989.
Wyoming attorney Gerry Spence on Friday presented arguments on one of three pretrial motions in a 1987 lawsuit in which the steelworkers claimed to have lost wages, severance pay and insurance and pension benefits when USX sold the Orem steel mill to a Utah company.
U.S. District Senior Judge Bruce Jenkins’ courtroom was crowded with about 300 steelworkers who listened as several attorneys argued the merits of USX’s motion for a partial summary judgment.
USX sold Geneva to Basic Manufacturing Technologies of Utah in August 1987, 13 months after the aging plant had been shut down by a labor dispute and subsequently placed on ″indefinate idle″ status by USX.
The plant has operated since then under the name Geneva Steel.
The plaintiffs cited a 1986 letter mailed to every Geneva worker from USX Chairman David Roderick, who assured them the Utah plant would not close its doors until the end of 1989.
They contend the letter superseded a collective bargaining agreement between the workers and the United Steelworkers of America because it was an independent contract between Roderick and each individual worker.