WHX and Point union pessimistic about talks

Maryland Watch

March 25, 1997

WHX Corp. and the Sparrows Point shipyard workers union said yesterday that they wanted to resume negotiations, but questioned whether much could be accomplished.

Paul Bucha, a WHX director negotiating to purchase Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s BethShip Inc. yard, said he wrote the union twice and called it four times in the last week to set up a meeting.

"I want to come to terms with the union," he said. "I'm worried this is hurting the shipyard in the industry."

The Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers countered that Bucha was trying to bypass collective bargaining with informal requests.

In a letter yesterday, leaders of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers/International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers told Bucha they were "ready and willing" to negotiate, but demanded documentation about Bethlehem Steel's negotiations with WHX.

Bucha said releasing much of that information was Bethlehem's responsibility, not WHX's.

"That's not within our control," he said. "Essentially, we're back to where we were at the beginning."

Pub Date: 3/25/97

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