A group of religious leaders said today the shutdown of steel making facilites in nearby Campbell brought "shock, anger, and genuine fear" to the area and announced they are participating in a study to see if it is feasible for workers or the community to purchase the mill.
The Lykes Corp. announced in September it would shut down most of the facilities of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., a subsidiary, in nearby Campbell and terminate the jobs of 5,000 workers.
A statement, outlining the position of the religious coalition, formed by a group of clergymen to help ease the impact of the plant closing, was read by Bishop James W. Malone of the Youngstown Diocese of the Catholic Church at a news conference in Youngstown.
Malone said the coalition had already donated $25,000 to the feasibility study.
A partial result of the study will be released Friday at a news conference by the Western Reserve Economic Development Agency in Youngstown.
"We believe that this action by the Lykes corporation has meaning for beyond its own troubled financial affairs and even beyond the fate of its 5,000 local employees," the statment said.
"This decision raises profound issues of corporate responsibility and justice. It poses an enormous challenge to the Youngstown community and to the nation."
"To allow the workers to scatter and to standby and watch the mill deteriorate further wold be a tragic waster," the coalition said. "We fully support proposals for interim maintenance of the Campbell works.
"We have decided to help fund a feasibility study to examine the potential purchase and operation of that facilities by workers and or the community. In pledging our support of such efforts, we recognize that his would be a serious undertaking."
Meanwhile, Ohio's battered steel industry was rocked again with the announcement that the Ohio Ftrro Alloys Corp. is closing its Brilliant plant and laying off 220 workers.
The Brilliant Works, one of four electric furnace smelting plants in the corporation, has been idel since midsummer. OFAC officials now say it will be closed permanently because the firm cannot compete with lowpriced foreign imports.