Wheeling-Pittsburgh Vote Count Saturday
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) _ Votes will be counted Saturday in the United Steelworkers union’s balloting on a tentative contract with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., officials say.
Union leaders are predicting passage, and company spokesman Ray Johnson said Wednesday that work could resume some time next week if the more than 7,500 eligible voters ratify the agreement.
The agreement reached Oct. 15 would lower Wheeling-Pittsburgh’s labor costs from $21.40 per hour to $18 to $19 per hour, depending on steel prices.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Warren W. Bentz will hear arguments Friday on the company’s request for his approval of the agrement.
Steelworkers negotiator Paul Rusen has said his members will not return to work unless the agreement is approved by Bentz, who authorized the company to dissolve a previous contract.
Union members walked off the job in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia July 21 when the company exercised that power.
Both sides say ratification is the steelmaker’s best hope for avoiding liquidation. It has been reorganizing under bankruptcy laws since April 16.