Bethlehem Steel Is Bankrupt

Equipment arrives at the entrance to the Crandall Canyon Mine on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007, northwest of Huntington, Utah.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Bethlehem Steel Corp., reeling from competition from low-cost foreign imports and its own high labor and retiree-benefit costs, filed Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The board of the nation's third-largest steelmaker approved the plan at a meeting Sunday and the company said it filed the petition Monday in New York.

The filing came just weeks after the company replaced its chairman and chief executive officer on Sept. 24 with turnaround expert Robert S. Miller, who led financial negotiations with bank lenders and the federal government leading to the Chrysler bailout package.

Miller said the company could not overcome the economic damage caused by low-cost imports and the slowing economy despite nearly $300 million in net cost reductions since mid-1998.

"Chapter 11 does not solve our problems," Miller said in a news release. "It provides us a process and framework within which we can address and explore the significant issues facing the company."

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