BALTIMORE (AP) -- A union leader says layoffs have begun at Sparrows Point with the steel mill's owner shutting down the blast furnace.
Joe Rosel, president of United Steelworkers Local 9477, tells The Baltimore Sun (http://bsun.md/Ll3cP7) that Friday's layoffs were in the iron- and steelmaking departments. Rosel did not know how many workers received layoff notices.
With the shutdown Wednesday of the blast furnace, layoffs are expected to affect most of the nearly 2,000 workers at the plant.
The mill's owner, RG Steel LLC filed for bankruptcy protection last month.
Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin urged labor and tax officials to give eligible workers and retirees quick approval to a program that gives retraining assistance, financial aid and health care tax credits.