Profit-sharing checks rise at Sparrows Point

Maryland Watch

March 24, 1998

About 5,100 workers at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant received profit-sharing checks averaging about $2,400 -- up about 71 percent, or $1,000, from last year, the company said yesterday.

"This payment is for 1997, when employees exceeded our business plan goals and the division was profitable," said Duane Dunham, president of the Sparrows Point division.

The payments are part of a 7-year-old program intended to reward employees based on the profitability of their division, the company said in a statement. Employees at Sparrows Point received checks averaging $2,100 in 1996 and $1,400 last year.

The payments come as employment is gradually shrinking at Sparrows Point because of retirements. Bethlehem Steel is not replacing workers because of plans to cut the work force to about 4,000 over the next two years.

Next year, Bethlehem plans to close the Sparrows Point plate mill, which employs about 400. The company will cut an additional 900 jobs by 2000 as part of a deal with the Steelworkers union to build a new $300 million cold-rolling mill.

Pub Date: 3/24/98

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