Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion

Sparrows Point one year later

It's hard to realize that over a year has passed since the closing of the once-proud Bethlehem Steel plant at Sparrows Point.

Opened over 100 years ago as Bethlehem Steel, the plant along with Western Electric, General Motors, Lever Brothers to name a few, provided job opportunities and training for the future of youngsters out of high school and also provided decent wages and benefits to its workers. In addition, it provided a source of revenue to our community, and they were businesses of which we could all be proud.

Today, the plant's closing has left a financial strain on our community. However, most significantly, its departure has ruined the lives of many hard-working Americans who created a top quality product at that plant. Not only did Bethlehem Steel provide for the basic needs of Americans but it was first and foremost a product for the defense of our country.

During World Wars I and II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, steel produced at the Sparrows Point plant flourished across our country and around the world helping to defend us in those times of struggle and strife.

The manufacturing base and standard of living continues to dwindle in the United States. Over 11 million Americans are out of work.

Steel products and employment opportunities have fallen to an all time low as foreign steel floods our shores. In New York and New Jersey, $255 million worth of steel from China for bridge restoration has been ordered. The recently-rebuilt Golden Gate Bridge was rebuilt with steel purchased from China.

The political wizards in our state and federal government fail to apply measures to protect our jobs.

Plans are being discussed to build an "auto park" on the peninsula of Sparrows Point which would create thousands of low-paying jobs and continue to ruin the lives of our workers helping to flood the U.S. with even more foreign cars and thereby doing further harm to the American steel and auto industries.

The one and only solution for our country is to manufacture products in America and buy American.

Don Kellner

The writer is president of United Steelworkers Local 9477 retirees.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Hurdles loom as Baltimore's port grows
    Hurdles loom as Baltimore's port grows

    Environmental reviews slow projects to accommodate record growth

  • Street policing doesn't belong in school
    Street policing doesn't belong in school

    In recent months, there has been a flood of video evidence of police violence in our communities. Earlier this week, a gut-wrenching video surfaced that shows a school police officer violently attacking three young girls inside one of our middle schools. The incident starts when one of the...

  • Look to animals to cure Ebola
    Look to animals to cure Ebola

    GlaxoSmithKline and Merck will test new Ebola vaccines in West Africa this month. They're racing to cure this disease that causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and other mammals. To date, Ebola has claimed more than 8,600 lives and infected more than 20,000 people in Sierra Leone,...

  • Why Black History Month?
    Why Black History Month?

    Every February, college professors like myself are tasked with reminding students and the general public of the significance of Black History Month. Undoubtedly, many people understand the potential value behind a designated month dedicated to this part of American history. Our country is...

  • Lexington Market overhaul [Poll]
    Lexington Market overhaul [Poll]
  • Mr. Obama's 529 brouhaha
    Mr. Obama's 529 brouhaha

    Rarely does a president flip-flop on an initiative presented in the State of the Union address as quickly as Barack Obama did this week. He reversed himself on 529 college savings plans on Tuesday, which was just seven days after his speech to the nation. Such a political miscalculation is...

Comments
Loading