The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 30, 2012

No tears on plant's last day

'Sawhill' worker accept retirement


A few of Wheatland Tube Co.’s Sharon Warehouse workers left the plant Friday with a little flair. One peeled out of the parking lot on his motorcycle.

For the 44 production and maintenance employees represented by United Steelworkers Local 1016-00, it was the last full day of work as the plant is set to be closed.

While workers will return this morning for a final walkaround the plant which won’t take long, the plant’s true last day was Friday.

“It’s a shame it had to end this way. It’s the end of an era,’’ said Richard Clark, a 42-year veteran and the plant and president of Local 1016-00.

Wheatland Tube announced two months ago it was closing the plant which did finishing work on pipe products along with having a warehouse. Workers said they expected the announcement as production had been steadily shifted to other Wheatland Tube plants in recent years.

Stretching along a section of Sharpsville Avenue, the plant’s hey-day is long gone as a combination of imports and shifting business patterns took its toll.

“This is a business decision,’’ Clark said. “It’s not closing because of the workers.’’

A decade ago, the warehouse and pipe plant operated as a division of the former Sawhill Tubular Products Co. that had several owners since the 1970s.

Wheatland Tube bought the plant in 2002 and massive layoffs there began in 2005.

“We all have Sawhill in our hearts,’’ Clark said.

Even in its declining years the plant was a stellar performer, he recalled, as it received numerous safety awards and had the lowest absentee rate among Wheatland Tube plants.

“This was a self-directed workforce,’’ Clark said. “For years we’ve only had one supervisor here.’’

Workers will not get a severance package but the company did negotiate a shutdown agreement that Clark said was fair. All of the remaining workers are eligible for retirement and will receive retirement health care insurance. A few of the workers may be rehired at other Wheatland Tube operations but they will have to start as new employees.

When the final timecards are collected this morning, all the workers plan to gather together for a buffet breakfast.

“We’re a family really,’’ Clark mused. “These guys have a lot of pride. They’ll go out with dignity.’’

Text Only
Local News
  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014

  • Judge orders Marin removed from ballot

    Saying the testimony of Congressional candidate Mel Marin of Sharon wasn’t credible, the Commonwealth Court has ordered Marin’s name removed from the Democratic Party’s ballot for one of area’s congressional seats in the May primary because Marin now has less than the required 1,000 valid signatures.

    April 15, 2014