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Union leaders still have hope Hamilton steel company can be saved

Even though a Hamilton steel mill has been officially transferred to a liquidator, union leaders at Hamilton Specialty Bar still think there's a chance their company won't be sold for scrap.
Union leaders at United Steelworkers Local 4752 expressed hope on Wednesday that their company won't be sold for scrap. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

Even though a Hamilton steel mill has been officially transferred to a liquidator, union leaders at Hamilton Specialty Bar still think there's a chance their company won't be sold for scrap.

They discussed those hopes at a meeting of the union members Tuesday night. 

Monday was the deadline for the company to be kept alive by a last-minute bid. But that bidder failed to present a "going concern" offer to a judge Monday morning.

But Mickey Mercanti, president of the United Steelworkers Local 4752 that represents about 200 workers at the plant, said the liquidator is in talks with that bidder to see if a sale can still be arranged.

The company has been in trouble since January, when its doors were suddenly shut and its operations sent into a receivership under the control of a trustee.

The company also employed about 50 salaried workers. Another 400 retired workers and their families are also affected.

Mercanti said whatever will happen has to take place in about the next month, but he expects to know even sooner whether the company will be saved.

"Hopefully good things will happen," he said. "We'll know soon."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Bennett is a freelance reporter based in Hamilton. Her writing has appeared in CBC News, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Voice of San Diego and in the National Observer for the Local Journalism Initiative. You can follow her on Twitter @kellyrbennett or email kelly@kellyrbennett.com.

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