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The Dripby Mark Reutter8:56 amDec 23, 20110

Some employees told not to come to work at Sparrows Point, operations reportedly suspended

BREAKING NEWS – Steelworkers in some Sparrows Point departments were told not to come to work this morning and well-placed sources tell The Brew that operations at the troubled Baltimore County steel mill have been suspended by owner RG Steel.

Attempts to confirm this information have so far been unsuccessful. There has been no response from RG Steel spokeswoman Bette Kovach, and Jeff Mikula, president of Local 9477 of the United Steelworkers, could not be reached on his cellphone.

According to sources, the decision to suspend operations was made by representatives of owner Ira Rennert and has caught plant management by surprise.

The mill has been suffering from heavy operating losses since Rennert’s Renco Group bought the mill and two other Midwest steel plants from Severstal last March.

Workers at several operations were told to stay home last night. Other operations appear to be running this morning. A steel mill is a continuous operation, and shutting down a plant takes many days to put into effect.

We will continue to report on this story and find out what’s happening.

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