YORKVILLE - Esmark head, James P. Bouchard was joined by Ohio Governor John R. Kasich mid-afternoon Friday in Yorkville for a brief celebration marking the company having reached a point where it could close on the two Yorkville acquisitions simultaneously - as had planned originally.
Bouchard and his Esmark team had been preparing to take several matters connected to the two pending deals before a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware mid-week.
That action can now be taken off the federal bankruptcy court's docket, as resolutions to the issues were reached.
ESMARK’S JAMES P. BOUCHARD talks to a crowd gathered outside of the former RG Steel Yorkville plant Friday afternoon.
Bouchard had nothing but high praise for all the representatives from the State of Ohio who had any connection to this complex and intensive effort, particularly noting it had to be conducted in an unusually brief time period.
Despite the highly intensive nature of how the unexpected 11th hour issues of the unresolved EPA matters are being addressed, Bouchard confirmed the remediation plan has been approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the matter has been returned to the hands of officials with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for completions on the issues.
At the gathering in Yorkville on Friday afternoon Jim Bouchard introduced a number of the executives he has brought together to focus their efforts on reviving the large cold rolled steel facility with the help of some of the soon to be Esmark and Oho cold Rolling Company employees from the former RG Steel who will soon begin getting information on how the unusual labor contract question can most productively be addressed.
While Esmark officials offered during comments Friday that a term sheet had been signed by USW District 1 Director Dave McCall, he was not in attendance at the event.
Following the gathering Friday, USW Local 1223 President Jerry Conners confirmed officials from the mill's leadership team - and several of the USW local representatives will begin contract talks as early as Monday, having held a few minutes of conversation on that effort shortly after the activity at the front of the mill concluded Friday.
Conners has said publicly he has some specific concerns going into the talks, but it hopeful they will lead to suitable contract he can put before the local's members for a vote.
He noted the local union members can continue to rely on the fact that they will have a final say on the status of any collective bargaining agreement being installed for the employees of the Yorkville facility.
The event on Friday was attended by a number of development officials, governmental services programs representatives and several state level political representatives including Lou Gentile, who has been diligently working to help bring about this positive outcome for the Yorkville operation, and State Representative Jack Cera was also on hand at the event Friday.
Officials from the sister steel facility south of the Yorkville mill, the Ohio Coatings Company, were also part of the collective gathered together Friday, and comments from them and from others knowledgeable about issues of consistency in the cold rolled steel product indicated they are very anxious to begin being able to have Yorkville's steel to coat.
Loccisano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org