BALTIMORE -- Workers at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant say they are angered by what they see as the company's failure to live up to its word.
Three years ago, the union agreed to relax work rules and reduce the 85-employe work force at the plant's two electrical shops.
Union officials said in exchange for the concession, Bethlehem Steel agreed to keep at least 51 workers at the plant unless production dipped below 60 percent, which it has not.
But Bethlehem told workers this year that one of the shops will be closed, and some employes have since been laid off or transferred.
Union officials said there currently are 43 workers in the shops.
About 100 unionized steelworkers picketed in front of the plant's main office for about 45 minutes last week. United Steelworkers Local 2610 has approximately 3,800 workers at the plant.
"We tried to work with Bethlehem. Some of our people were reluctant, but we tried because we wanted to see the plant survive -- it's our bread and butter," said Dewey Parks, grievance committeeman for Local 2610.
"This is the first of whatever we have to do to drum up public support against what we see as unfair labor practices," Parks said.
Bethlehem Steel spokesman G. Ted Baldwin declined to comment Friday on the company's plans for the electrical shop or the demonstration.