A small contingent of steelworkers from the Steubenville-based United Steelworkers Local 1190 are hoping their overnight drive to Wilmington, Del. will put them in the right place at the right time today.
The delegation wants to share its positive message about the future of steel-making that can be realized in this region with the federal bankruptcy court judge who is soon to make a final decision on ownership transition matters for the assets of the bankrupt RG Steel, including the internationally famed Mingo Junction mill.
"We are making this trip to the courthouse in Delaware because we want to try to put a face - our faces - on this situation. We hope someone will listen to what we have to say about the fact that we believe there is a lot of productive life left in this Mingo Junction mill," said Ernie Gambellin, president of USW Local 1190 in Steubenville. "We just want to let the judge know it will be worth it for new owners to work with us to restart this mill."
The group of steelworkers departed from Steubenville at about 2:30 a.m. today and hope to be allowed to address the court or representatives of any party interested in its ownership during today's proceedings.
Making the trek in addition to Gambellin are Paul Cesario, Frankie Crust, Joe Bailey, Bernie Ravasio, Ron Mannarino and Dave Julio.
The Steubenville local membership is made up of approximately 900 steelworkers.
"We're going to the court proceedings today to show the judge and anyone participating in the purchasing process the very real faces of steelmaking in the Ohio Valley," said Gambellin.
The Steubenville local represents about 950 steelworkers, most of whom have been off work for several years.
"We truly feel our valley and its steel heritage are worth more than $20 million Frontier has bid," offered Gambellin. "Will it make a difference, I don't know. But we have to try."
Loccisano may be reached at kimfromthetl@gmail. com