Steel contract talks continue

Contract talks are continuing between Esmark Steel Group representatives and the leadership of the local steelworkers union which represents a veteran labor force of individuals previously employed at the mill in the heart of the Village of Yorkville when it was part of the now defunct RG Steel.

Taking part in the most recent discussions have been Jerry Conners, president of USWA Local 1223 in Yorkville, and Jim Ledger, the man Esmark put in place to operate the cold rolling mill in Yorkville.

“Since the closing of the transaction last month we’ve been devoting significant time and resources to startup preparation, including achieving a collective bargaining agreement with the Yorkville employees, negotiating energy and raw material contracts, reaching out to our customer base for support, and planning for the integration of a new IT system,” said Esmark Steel Group CEO Tom Modrowski.

“Given our progress on all these fronts, we remain optimistic if things continue to go as planned, we could be rolling our first coils in January of 2013. We also want to express our sincere thanks to all the local, county and state officials that continue to support our collective efforts to achieve long term success,” said Modrowski.

Officials from both sides of the discussions have confirmed in recent weeks detailed discussions have been held several times and proposals reflecting those discussions continue to be refined and exchanged between the two representative sides.

Both Conners and Esmark representatives continue to say they are each optimistic a proposal can be reached of a quality that can be put before the USW Local’s executive committee members for review.

Only after a proposal meets with the approval of the USW Local’s executive committee members can it be put before the general membership for the purpose of a vote.

Conners said late last week he is optimistic about the possibility a proposed contract can be reached, as has been said recently by Esmark leadership.

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