Steelworkers, Ispat talks break down

February 19, 1993|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

Talks between the United Steelworkers of America and potential buyer of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s bar, rod and wire division broke down yesterday, jeopardizing the reopening of the rod mill at Sparrows Point in Baltimore County.

The talks between the union and Ispat Mexicana S.A. de C.V. in Pittsburgh ended after the Indian-owned steel company rejected union counterproposal, according to the steelworkers.

"We've gone as far as we could possibly go," said Andrew V. Palm, director of USWA District 15. "We're willing to listen to anything reasonable the company has to say. The ball is in their court. We'll wait to hear from them."

In an effort to revive the talks, both sides were invited by Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey to meet in his offices yesterday evening. That meeting was continuing late last night.

However, the steelworkers union downplayed the possibility that negotiations would resume. "We are doubtful, based on Ispat's previous reluctance to discuss our counterproposal, that it will lead to any new direction in the discussion," said Frank F. Romano, a spokesman for the Steelworkers.

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