BALTIMORE - Published reports indicate that workers at the Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore County are being laid off. Owners of the mill, RG Steel, also own a mill on Warren's south side.
Workers told The Baltimore Sun that managers met with employees on Thursday and told some not to report to work next week.
WMAR-TV posted a memo on its website that it says was sent to union members saying there was not much new information, but workers should file for unemployment compensation if laid off.
Spokesmen for RG Steel did not return calls and emails asking for comment. A union official did not return calls.
The mill employs more than 2,000 people. The Sun quoted several workers as saying that Sparrows Point planned to shut down some steelmaking operations as it struggles to pay bills and win back customers.
In March, RG Steel bought the Warren plant, Sparrows Point and a third mill from Russian-owned OAO Severstal. RG Steel paid $1.2 billion in a stock deal.
RG Steel is a unit of The Renco Group run by New York financier Ira Rennert, who owned the Warren mill from 1988 until losing it to lenders in May 2006.
Rennert bought the Warren mill in 1988 during LTV Corp.'s bankruptcy, but took it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2003.
Hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners Master Fund I Ltd. bought the mill in bankruptcy in May 2006, then completed a sale to Severstal in July 2008 for $370 million, $230 million of it in debt assumption and the rest in cash.
Severstal's purchase came as the subprime lending, high gasoline prices and other problems were creating a global economic crisis that led to layoffs at the Warren mill in late October 2008 and its idling early in 2009. Reports surfaced then, but were denied, that Severstal was looking to sell all of its North American mills, for which it paid $2.2 billion.