Scrap industry on slippery path by recycling executives

Mar 26, 2013 | 07:00 PM | Lisa Gordon

Tags  Full of Scrap, Lisa Gordon

It is becoming more commonplace for metal recyclers’ employees to jump to competitors’ ships, making staff rosters as volatile as scrap prices. The leapfrogging isn’t a phenomenon of just the hourly worker pool, but stretches all the way to the boardroom.

For example, PSC Metals Inc., Mayfield Heights, Ohio, is now run by a former OmniSource Corp. executive, and Fort Wayne, Ind.-based OmniSource is headed by a former executive of Commercial Metals Co., Irving, Texas. A top gun at Sims Metal Management Ltd. shed his 40-year tenure at the company to join Hugo Neu Corp., New York, while a second Sims veteran is now helping to run the show at Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.’s metals recycling business.

An industry dedicated to recycling materials apparently now has a penchant for recycling people. Years ago, young workers were hired, rose in rank and spent their entire career at a company; today, they have become disposable commodities.

Experienced workers aren’t leaving for a better paycheck, though. Studies indicate that the primary reason they exit is because they don’t like how they are treated and feel unappreciated. Employees who genuinely like their jobs aren’t looking for a new place to boot their laptop.....

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