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Esmark, union still talking

November 20, 2012
By KIM LOCCISANO - Special to the Herald-Star , The Herald-Star

YORKVILLE - Contract talks are continuing between Esmark Steel Group representatives and the leadership of the local steelworkers union which represents individuals previously employed at the mill in the heart of the village when it was part of the now defunct RG Steel.

Taking part in the most recent discussions have been Jerry Conners, president of USWA Local 1223 in Yorkville, and Jim Ledger, the man Esmark put in place to operate the cold rolling mill.

"Since the closing of the transaction last month, we've been devoting significant time and resources to startup preparation, including achieving a collective bargaining agreement with the Yorkville employees, negotiating energy and raw material contracts, reaching out to our customer base for support and planning for the integration of a new IT system," said Esmark Steel Group CEO Tom Modrowski.

"Given our progress on all these fronts, we remain optimistic that if things continue to go as planned, we could be rolling our first coils in January. We also want to express our sincere thanks to all the local, county and state officials that continue to support our collective efforts to achieve long term success," said Modrowski.

Officials from both sides have confirmed in recent weeks detailed talks have been held several times and several proposals have been discussed.

Conners and Esmark representatives continue to say they are optimistic a proposal can be reached.

After a proposal meets would be approved by the USW local's executive committee members, it would be voted on by the general membership.

Conners said late last week he is optimistic a deal can be reached.

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