U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is appealing to the U.S. Labor Department to get the ball rolling on approving benefits for laid-off workers at RG Steel.
Brown, along with senators from Maryland and West Virginia, are sending a letter to the Secretary of Labor asking for quick movement on the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. They also want a thorough review of all the TAA and Health Care Tax Credit applications.
Brown said that with the change of hands in ownership at RG over the years, some eligibility requirements for the training and compensation program may be compromised for some workers. RG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, and is idling plants in Warren, West Virginia and Maryland.
More than 1,000 employees are affected at the Warren plant.
"I have offered to the company and union to do whatever they need. We have been involved in these kinds of things before. Sometimes, we can help and we always do if we can. My goal is to put people back to work as quickly as we can," Brown said Thursday in satellite interview.
"We want to make sure these workers, who have been victimized by trade, sometimes foreign trade, that they can keep some semblance of their health care and get some kind of benefits, both for their living expenses and to get some retraining, if that is what is needed."