CLEVELAND LTV chairman quits as workers wait for bankruptcy hearing
Union officials say the chairman's resignation raises hopes for LTV.
CLEVELAND -- Union employees who cheered the resignation of the LTV Corp. chairman now must await a bankruptcy court hearing Tuesday to learn the fate of the steelmaker.
"If he would have resigned some time ago, it would have been better," said Pat McGlynn, 46, a 27-year LTV veteran from Bay Village. McGlynn said William H. Bricker, who quit Thursday as chairman and chief executive, "was brought in to shut the place down, and he very nearly did it."
At the time he became chairman Nov. 9, 2000, Bricker had been an LTV director for 18 years. He is a former chairman of Diamond Shamrock Corp., later known as Maxus Energy Corp.
Bricker said he hoped his resignation "will enable the company to move forward in its effort to find an appropriate buyer."
Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers of America, said the resignation was in the best interests of all parties. "It raises hopes for a successful restructuring of LTV," he said.
The company said another key executive, John D. Turner, would continue as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Union officials and some community leaders had sought the ouster of both.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Bodoh in Youngstown will consider LTV's request to shut down and sell off its steelmaking assets because it can no longer afford to operate.
A shutdown would affect mills in Cleveland, Hennepin, Ill., and East Chicago, Ind., and a coke plant in Warren. About 7,500 employees would lose their jobs.
The resignation came hours after company attorneys had appeared in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Cleveland to promise that the company would continue steel production until next week's hearing.
Warren operation: Part of the agreement says that LTV will continue operating the Warren plant, which has about 200 employees, until Judge Bodoh rules, said Warren Mayor Hank Angelo.
Union officials were concerned that LTV wasn't providing enough coal to keep the plant working, but Angelo said the agreement Thursday should force LTV to adequately supply the plant for the next several days.
What union said: The Steelworkers union said top LTV executives had provided misleading information to employees, had hurt LTV by paying too much to buy other companies and had hurt relations with the Steelworkers by opening a nonunion mill in Decatur, Ala.