But optimism aside, Lewis said, it's an anxious, uncertain place that all the workers find themselves in.
Workers started arriving more than an hour before the 4 p.m. meeting. The line to get into the hall snaked out of the building, down the stairs and around the sidewalk.
Once inside, men and women peppered union leaders with questions about benefits, about potential owners, about how RG Steel failed so rapidly. Asked about the future, Rosel said steel industry consultants are telling the union that finding a new operator "can be done."
Some of the steelworkers at the meeting already are done — they've retired. Randolph Williams of Baltimore signed up Friday, the last day of a small window to qualify for a $10,000 retirement bonus.
"There's nothing definite right now," said Williams 64. "After 45 years, I've had enough."