WARREN - U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan met with top officials at Phillips Manufacturing and members of United Steelworkers in an attempt to settle a four-month strike at the Niles steel plant.
Phillips President and CEO George Kubat and his management team made the trip from Omaha, Neb., for the three-hour meeting at Ryan's office along with members of both the international and local steelworkers union.
''You wish you could have come out with a hand shake, but it was a good conversation,'' said United Steelworkers staff representative Dennis Brubaker. Another meeting is expected soon.
This was only the second bargaining session since the strike began, Brubaker said.
"We had a constructive exchange of ideas with both sides offering creative solutions to the pending issues,'' Ryan said in a statement released Thursday evening.
''Both sides demonstrated good faith and agreed to meet again in the very near future.''
Ryan had sent letters to both labor and management officials in November urging an open line of communication and offering to assist.
About 40 workers walked off the job in mid-September claiming unfair wages, benefits and working conditions.
The plant manufactures steel components used in the construction industry.