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USWA: WORKERS ATTENDING ARMCO SHAREHOLDERS' MEETING WIN PROMISE FROM CEO FOR TOP-LEVEL MEETING TO DISCUSS MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

 PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Although a technical ruling prevented a vote on their resolution seeking an Oversight Committee, union workers attending the Armco Inc. (NYSE: AS) shareholders' meeting today convinced Chief Executive Officer Robert Purdom to meet with them to discuss their complaints about management practices at Armco Steel L.P., the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) said.
 The union said that Purdom heretofore had distanced himself from the controversy surrounding Armco Steel, the Armco Inc. subsidiary with operations in Middletown, Ohio, and Ashland, Ky., which has been headed since last June by Thomas Graham. The USWA represents workers at Ashland. The Armco Employees' Independent Federation (AEIF) represents Middletown workers.
 The USWA said that the two unions made a 30-minute presentation to shareholders, telling them Armco Steel was headed down the wrong path and warning them their investments were endangered. The unions said approval of their resolution was in the best interests of both the shareholders and the workers.
 The unions were represented by George Becker, International vice president of the USWA; Dave Foster, director of USWA District 33; Greg Wells, vice president of the AEIF in Middletown; Mike Hewlett, president of USWA Local 1865 in Ashland; and Stan Daniels, president of USWA Local 6860, representing workers at the Eveleth Mines in Minnesota.
 The USWA said that Purdom ruled that the resolution could not be voted on because it was submitted too late for consideration. He refused to answer specific questions raised by the union representatives about Armco Steel, but said he would meet with Williams and Graham.
 The union said that afterward, shareholders swarmed the union representatives, asking for more details and scooping up information kits detailing the problems.
 During the meeting, Becker told shareholders:
 "We became experienced in the 1980s dealing with managers of two types. One invited all the parties to work out difficult solutions facing the various industries. The second decided to take a confrontational approach that led to destruction, and that is what is happening in Middletown and Ashland today."
 The USWA also told the shareholders of its "New Directions" bargaining policy, in which it is seeking to expand the pioneering worker involvement and mutual problem-solving programs it has negotiated with many employers. Armco Steel, it said, is the only major steel producer refusing to discuss the beneficial possibilities inherent in this bargaining approach.
 "We are going to protect and represent our members," Becker added, "and we don't think Armco Steel can withstand what USX endured. We believe there is an alternative. We are asking you to insist that management open up and bring us into the process. You can do that by supporting adoption of the resolution."
 The USWA said that the reference to USX was a six-month lockout forced on Steelworkers in 1986-1987 when Graham was running the USX steel operations. The lockout cost USX more than $2 billion.
 Despite the lack of a vote on the resolution, Foster called the effort "very successful."
 "Shareholders were told loud and clear that there is a growing storm at Armco Steel," Foster said. "The shareholders now know that a cooperative approach with the union toward resolution of Armco's problems could be more effective than the confrontational style that's being practiced now, and which has been repudiated by all the other integrated steel producers."
 Previous Armco Steel CEOs attended the shareholders' meeting. The USWA said that Graham today was conspicuous by his absence.
 -0- 4/23/93
 /CONTACT: USWA Communications Department, in Pittsburgh, 412-562-2442/
 (AS)


CO: Armco, Inc.; Armco Steel L.P.; United Steelworkers of America;
 Armco Employees' Independent Federation ST: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kentucky, Ohio IN: MNG SU:


DM -- PG008 -- 0114 04/23/93 13:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 1993
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