Lukens Talks Break Off
COATESVILLE, Pa. (AP) _ Negotiators for Lukens Steel Co. and its union broke off their latest round of contract talks Friday afternoon with both sides saying they were no closer to ending the five-week strike.
Ray MacDonald, chief negotiator for United Steelworkers Local 1165, said the company’s latest offer was worse than the previous proposal.
″They put a proposal on the table now that has substantially widened the gap and we told them we were not interested in playing that kind of game,″ he said.
Lukens Steel Co. President Robert Schall said, ″Judging from the positions of the union, it is obvious the two sides are a significant distance apart.″
No new negotiations were scheduled during the Friday round, which lasted from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The federal mediator, Alex Kapner, said he would try to bring the two sides back together next week.
More than 1,300 steelworkers have been on strike since Oct. 1 at Lukens’ Coatesville plant.
The steel company has kept the plant in operation during the strike. McDonald said Lukens has been overstating its production and has been filling orders from its inventory.
″The salaried employees and ‘scabs’ have figured out how to load trucks, but what they’re loading is steel produced by our members before the strike,″ McDonald said.