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WARREN LTV PLANT Shutdown ends long uncertainty



Published: Sat, February 9, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Bitterness remains for coke plant workers, who have lost their jobs.

By PAUL WHEATLEY

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

WARREN -- David Schaffer put in 28 years with LTV Corp.'s coke plant here.

Schaffer, one of 50 employees working to shut down the plant, expected Friday to be out of work when the plant officially closes today.

At 47, he filed for early retirement Thursday and plans on taking a $10-an-hour job to make ends meet.

He said management actually asked him to work overtime.

Schaffer declined.

"The days of LTV telling me what to do are over," he said. "You don't know the toll this takes on the family."

Hardship: Schaffer, of West Farmington, said his 14-year-old daughter, fearing her father couldn't afford for her to live with him anymore, moved to Georgia to live with relatives.

"I try not to talk about it," he said.

Workers leaving the plant Friday said the plant's furnaces were shut down Friday.

"Basically, when the furnace cools down under 900 degrees, it'll be the point of no return," Schaffer said. "We'll go onto the next adventure."

Workers began preliminary work to shut down furnaces last Saturday. The furnaces suffer severe damage once turned off, which makes it unlikely that the plant could be sold.

Feels relief: Wayne Cline called the closing a relief, ending the anxiety of an unknown future.

"I think most of us have been through this once or twice," said the Niles resident who was laid off for 18 month in 1974.

"A lot of us are very hateful toward LTV."

Cline, who had 30 years at LTV, said WCI Steel officials fought for LTV workers over the past few days while LTV management showed a lack of compassion for their own employees.

The two companies had discussed ways to restart the plant, but talks ended Wednesday without explanation.

"I told my kids I'd kick their butts if they ever went into the mills," said Cline, who has two grown children.

Coke is a coal-based product used as fuel in the steelmaking process. The Warren plant employed about 200 people.

wheatley@vindy.com




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