WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to send letters to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman asking them to ensure that eligible RG Steel employees and retirees receive benefits to help them transition to new jobs, if needed, and also purchase affordable health coverage. RG Steel has several facilities in Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland, including plants in Warren, Yorkville, Mingo Junction, and Martin’s Ferry, Ohio.
“Thousands of workers in Ohio are now out of work as a result of RG Steel’s decision to file for bankruptcy. Many of these workers are qualified for job retraining assistance and a health insurance tax credit that ensures that they can continue to afford coverage,” Brown said. “The complexities surrounding RG Steel, its former owner Severstal, and the bankruptcy proceedings have raised serious concerns among former employees at the company. It’s vital that these workers get the federal assistance that they have earned and are now entitled to, which is why I am asking the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service to work with these employees, their unions, and the State of Ohio to ensure that they are provided with the proper assistance.”
RG Steel filed for bankruptcy on May 31 and the bankruptcy could have serious consequences for the company’s 4,000 employees’ and families, as well as retirees’ health care and pension benefits. The Senators have been working to make sure that eligible employees and retirees receive vital support, including Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) benefits, to help keep them and their families on their feet. These programs are lifelines to employees who lose their jobs and are training for new employment while still trying to support their families.
The TAA program ensures that workers who lose their jobs and financial security as a result of outsourcing to foreign countries have an opportunity to transition to new jobs and emerging sectors of the economy. The HCTC promotes private health insurance access for recipients, and makes health insurance coverage more affordable to workers who lose their jobs due to trade and offshoring.
Click here to view the letter the Senators sent to Secretary Solis on June 7.
Click here to view the letter the Senators sent to Commissioner Shulman on June 7.