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Steelworkers approve contract; Strike ends at Duraloy

| Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2003

Union steelworkers at Duraloy Technologies Inc. in Scottdale ratified a three-year contract Tuesday, ending a strike that began last week.

Production was scheduled to resume on the midnight shift today. About 88 members of Local 13836-08 of the United Steelworkers struck the company after the previous three-year contract expired Aug. 31.

Workers said the main stumbling blocks centered around the level of company contributions for medical coverage and subsequent increases in rank-and-file contributions for deductibles. Wages were also an issue.

The new deal expires August 2006. Details of the contract were not disclosed.

"It will do for now. We're going back to work, and that's the way it is," said Chris Iaquinta, president of Local 13836-08.

Vincent A. Schiavoni, president of Duraloy Technologies, declined to comment on the details of the new deal.

Duraloy Technologies Inc. makes high-alloy, abrasive-resistant castings for the petrochemical and steel industries. The company is owned by Cleveland-based Park Corp., a real estate development and manufacturing firm that acquired the Scottdale plant in April 1994.

Along with Duraloy, Park owns a number of businesses in the area, including the West Homestead Engineering and Machine Co. (Whemco). In 1999, Park closed the Electroalloys Corp. facility in Elyria, Ohio, and merged all of the manufacturing, engineering and technologies into the 81-year-old Scottdale plant.

Steelworkers had rejected a pair of contract proposals last week. Since the onset of the strike, union pickets maintained an around-the-clock blockade of the Bridge Street factory, effectively denying truck shipments access and egress to the plant.

Steelworkers struck the company for three weeks in 2000 before agreeing on a three-year contract.

Called to fire

Firefighters from about a half-dozen companies were called to a second fire Tuesday at an auto-repair business on Wardentown Road, just off Route 981 in East Huntingdon Township. There were no injuries, damage was moderate and the business was able to reopen.

State police ruled the cause of the fire reported shortly before 7 a.m. at the Repair Center as arson.

Business owners Ron Kolar and Terry Walter said someone set a pile of tires stored outside the building on fire. Before the fire was discovered, flames crept up the outside wall, igniting the roof rafters in a section of the large, concrete-block building. Several cars had slight smoke and water damage.

Walter said the shop has been open just since January, and he had operated a trucking business there for the previous six years.

“This is the first time we've had any trouble,” he said.

Noting the business was uninsured, Walter said, “We're going to clean up and hope to be back in business this afternoon.”

No more news

Fayette County 911 Deputy Director Guy Napolillo is still trying to get answers about a low-flying plane that was seen in the area Monday afternoon.

Napolillo, to date, has only been told it was a military plane on maneuvers in the area. He would like to know why the plane was flying so low.

Napolillo said he would like to know the nature of the mission so if it would happen again, he could let area residents know ahead of time.

Fayette 911 received more than 30 calls to the dispatch center on Monday from residents issuing concern.

Fire at mall

Smoke filled part of a store at Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield Township Tuesday afternoon when lint in a ceiling fan ignited.

Carmen Rega, Hempfield No. 2 fire chief, said sparks from a torch used by roofers apparently caused lint to smolder in a fan near the Men's Wearhouse store. Smoke had filtered into the rear portion of the second-floor men's clothing store when firefighters arrived, Rega said.

There was minimal damage, Rega said, which he attributed to water. No evacuations were reported.

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