WARREN, Ohio - Equipment from Warren's now closed RG Steel plant goes on the auction block this week.
Buyers, managers, and company owners from the west coast, Pittsburgh and Youngstown walk through the vast buildings on Pine Street in Warren where Tuesday morning Myron Bowling Auctioneers will begin selling off 1,467 items.
Hank Marsilio, owner of Eagle Mechanical in Youngstown, was also there. "We're a mechanical contractor in Youngstown and we specialize in boiler repair and piping work. There's some equipment here that would benefit us in the pipe shop. If the price is right, we'll make it work," Marsilio said.
Although companies from across the country and the region are hoping to benefit from some of the items up for auction, there are some concerns about some of the items being sold from this plant that has been here in Warren for 101 years.
Darryl Parker, president of steelworkers local 1375, says although the company that bought the former RG Steel out of bankruptcy says it is not selling items that will be used to produce steel, the union believes many of the items on the auction block are necessary for producing steel.
"If a potential operator is found within the next couple months what it will do in turn is put that potential operator, and I emphasize potential, at a disadvantage," Parker said.
As the auction winds down on Friday, 7,055 items will be put up for bid. Although about one third of the steelworkers who worked at R&G Steel have found jobs, there are hopes a buyer will see an opportunity and begin operations again.