Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Management Split, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Strike Continues

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Management Split, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Strike Continues

Article excerpt

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The steel industry's biggest strike in 26 years, the walkout against Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., entered its third day Tuesday, while a feud between corporate directors simmered in federal bankruptcy court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Warren W. Bentz is expected to rule soon on director Allen E. Paulson's request to establish a shareholders' committee that would have a voice in drafting a corporate reorganization plan under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy law.

""There is a direct conflict of interest between Wheeling-Pittsburgh's interests and those of the common shareholders,'' Paulson, the company's largest shareholder and one of its 11 directors, toldthe judge in an affidavit.

""My attempts to play any meaningful role in Wheeling-Pittsburgh's affairs are regularly thwarted,'' he said.

Paulson said management's plan to distribute stock to satisfy bad debts would dilute his holdings. He wants the company's lenders to restructure their loans to accommodate the steelmaker's financial plight.

Nisshin Steel Co. Ltd. of Japan, the second-largest shareholder, has sided with Paulson, charging management led by Chairman Dennis J. Carney with ""an attempt to silence the various groups in thiscase in favor of the presentation and dominance of only existing management's position.''

Company spokesman Ken Maxcy declined comment Monday.

Leaders of the 8,200 United Steelworkers union members who walked out Sunday morning at plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia say the management split will help the union bargain over the depth of wage and benefit concessions needed to save the company.

Paul Rusen, chief union negotiator, also has said Nisshin's management has a greater appreciation for the employees' position in the dispute than do Wheeling-Pittsburgh's managers. …

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