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United Steelworkers members have been on strike at a Monroe County, Ohio aluminum manufacturer for 10 weeks, and now they're taking their case directly to the public.

The Steelworkers Union says a new owner can operate Ormet Aluminum better than its current management, so the steelworkers have been going to local government leaders in an effort to get them to persuade the company to see things the union's way.

Steelworkers representatives Tuesday told the Washington County commissioners that ownership changes have helped revive previously bankrupt companies such as Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel and the former LTV Steel, now owned by the ISG Group.

Steelworkers Representative Ronnie Blatt says it has tried to make this proposal to Ormet officials during negotiations, only to see company negotiators reject the offer.

Blatt says three companies have expressed interest, but would not name them. The commission took no immediate action on the union's request for a resolution of support for its idea.

The steelworkers may be running out of time to persuade Ormet's current management to sell.

Ormet said Monday it has received approval by a federal bankruptcy judge for its reorganization plan, and Ormet hopes to implement it in the near future.


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