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Wheeling-Pittsburgh asked to cut its union ties.

The steelmaker, seeking to reduce labor costs by 29%, asked the bankruptcy judge who is overseeing Wheeling’s Chapter 11 proceedings to dissolve its contract with the United Steelworkers. The move would free the company to set wages and working conditions as it sees fit. Paul Rusen, representing the USW’s 8,200 workers and 10,000 retirees, said that rejection of the contract would be “totally premature” and that the union would resist the effort. Wheeling, which owes $514 million, filed for Chapter 11 in April after failing to gain concessions from its union and lenders.


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