09/13/2012 10:50 am ET Updated Sep 14, 2012

RG Steel Breaks Promise Of Retirement Bonus To Baltimore Steelworkers

Recently retired workers at RG Steel are being told they will not get an expected retirement bonus after all.

RG Steel had promised $10,000 retirement bonuses to steelworkers at the Baltimore-area Sparrows Point mill, the Baltimore Sun reports. Between 100 and 200 steelworkers took up the offer last month. But the company, which filed for bankruptcy in May, now has broken that promise to some of them.

RG Steel is claiming that these workers retired too late to secure the bonus, according to Joe Rosel, president of the United Steelworkers Local 9477, who spoke to the Baltimore Sun.

"The company now is going to say they didn't guarantee it," Rosel told the Sun. "But they certainly did give people the impression that they were going to get it."

RG Steel did not widely publicize its August deadline for workers to sign up for the retirement bonus, according to a separate Baltimore Sun report. Many steelworkers retired at the last minute.

RG Steel stopped operating the Sparrows Point mill in May when it filed for bankruptcy, and the mill's future remains uncertain, according to the Baltimore Sun. The steel company sold the mill in August to a redevelopment firm collaborating with a liquidation company.

Benefits for Sparrows Point's 2,000 workers expired at the end of August, and RG Steel has laid off a number of workers.

Steelmakers have been struggling since steel prices plunged last year because of the crisis in Europe and economic slowdown in China, according to Bloomberg.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the extent to which RG Steel is denying bonuses to retirees. According to the Baltimore Sun, only some -- not all -- recent retirees are being denied a bonus.



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