Allegheny County Council votes to forbid W&K Steel from contract bids

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W&K Steel should not be allowed to bid on Allegheny County contracts, because the Rankin company mistreats its workers, a majority of county council agreed Tuesday night. The vote to find that W&K operates a "sweatshop" followed party lines with all 11 Democrats voting for the finding and all four Republicans abstaining. Company President Ed Wilhelm called council's action a "kangaroo court."

His wife Celeste, the company's human resources manager, said that no council member had ever visited the plant or talked to any of its 50 workers.

County Manager Jim Flynn that the Onorato administration would have to review the legislation before commenting on it.

W&K Steel has no contracts with the county now.

The labor and community coalition had asked council for the resolution, claiming that conditions in the plant were unsafe and that immigrant workers were paid lower wages than other employees doing similar jobs.


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