The future of RG Steel remains unclear after an online news report that the company may have asked the United Steelworkers for permission to sell itself.
Union spokesman Tony Montana said he saw the report carried by the Baltimore Brew from RG's Sparrows Point mill near Baltimore but said he had no knowledge about it.
No company spokesperson could be reached for comment Wednesday.
The Brew's report this week indicated union leaders at Sparrows Point had told workers the situation was serious and that a sale was possible. According to a labor agreement, the union must approve a sale that RG would negotiate.
It wasn't known if RG's Warren's steel mill might be included in any sale consideration. RG bought the 1,100-employee mill in March 2011 and is operating nearly all departments, in contrast to Sparrows Point and Steubenville-Wheeling operations, parts of which are idle.
RG Steel, controlled by New York financier Ira Rennert, who owned the Warren mill for nearly 20 years, earlier this month cut pay and some benefits for salaried and nonunion workers in a cost-saving effort. Union workers were unaffected.
Last year, the company raised about $100 million from Cerberus Capital Management L.P. to stay in business. The cash crunch caused the company to idle its Sparrows Point furnace Dec. 22, although the Warren mill continued to operate.
A unit of The Renco Group Inc., RG Steel employs about 6,000 union and roughly 500 salaried workers. It said it's the nation's fourth largest steelmaker with annual capacity of 7.5 million tons.