W&K Steel Slams ‘Sweat Shop’ Label

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County Council declared W&K Steel a sweat shop this week.

It’s the first time that designation has been placed on a local business.

The company calls the claims outrageous and now county council is rethinking the move.

KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin walked through the building with company owners Celeste and Ed Wilhelm on Thursday.

“I think devastation was the first emotion, then anger,” Celeste Wilhelm said. “We need to fight this injustice.”

County council members heard damaging testimony this week about numerous Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations, unsafe working conditions and a death at an off-site job.

Those claims, county council members say, forced them to make a tough decision to declare W&K a sweat shop.

“We have one of the safest shops in the United States,” Ed Wilhelm said. “I can’t stand those rumors.”

Then there’s the allegation of illegal workers. The business has five Burmese refugees. The KDKA Investigators checked and not one of them was illegal.

The OSHA complaints against the company have been resolved. Fines of under $5,000 were paid.

KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin brought the information to County Council President Rich Fitzgerald late Thursday afternoon.

“We want this plant to do well, we want these workers in safe conditions,” Fitzgerald said.

  • dave

    This is what happens when you let extreme liberal Democrats run the city. The only thing the Democrats want is to continue to STEAL campaign money from unions and fight companies who do not employ union workers. Wake up Pittsburgh, The Times They ‘r a Changing.

  • dave

    Also, I was in the United Steelworkers of America union for 20 years. They are the biggest bunch of thieves you will ever meet.

  • JB

    your exactly right Dave, nothing but a union scam !

  • Roger

    I heard the KDKA report, and heard a 15 minute interview with Fitzgerald on TAEradiio yesterday afternoon. Fitzgerald looks like a fool with his answers and explanations. Ron and Jerry were easily able to pin him into a corner because he had no answers to the questions. This action speaks volumes about the interest in having more businesses come to Allegheny Co. Why would any business want to set up shop here?

  • JAUN


  • Mr Soho

    They will force the company to close, then declare how they won. Union fools, they protect the incompetant.

  • dave

    all monkeys want there bananas!!

  • Richard

    There was a time, in the 1920’s, 1930’s, when unions served a very real and important purpose. Their time has passed and they are no longer needed so they should go the way of the dinosaur. They are stuck in the past and are causing more problems than they are doing good. Vote down the unions and send them packing back into history!

  • CB

    You’re a bunch of “Bleeding Hearts”!

  • MB

    These Council Members should be held liable for their actions. These puppets have caused harm to this company. Roger said it right, why would you want to open a business in Agony county when they treat you like this. Last time I checked No companies = no jobs (union or non-union).

    Just plain Fools

  • wm

    I agree with you the union’s are just for themselves and they go after a company and try to force them out because they won’t get unionized. I have a relative that work’s for w&k and they all went to the meeting on Tuesday but wern’t allowed to speak just Union members now what does that say!!! Just like I feel if the Pat bus people would take a pay cut they would save their jobs, but because the union it there forget it more money mean’s no job well talk about council having egg on their face and trying to black ball a good company. The economy is bad enough without make it worse Thank you

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