The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

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
  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story