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NATION



Published: Fri, October 6, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATION

Mittal Steel to idle2 of its blast furnaces

CHICAGO -- Mittal Steel USA said Thursday it is idling two blast furnaces indefinitely to bring production capabilities in line with reduced demand for light flat-rolled products.

The company, a unit of Mittal Steel Co. NV, which is in the process of buying Arcelor SA for about 32 billion, is idling one blast furnace each in Cleveland and its Indiana Harbor facility in East Chicago, Ind.

No employees will be laid off. Mittal Steel USA said the furnaces will undergo maintenance and be reactivated when market conditions warrant increased production levels.

Delta deal to changeretirees' medical benefits

ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines Inc., which is operating under bankruptcy protection, reached an agreement Thursday with thousands of retirees on changes to medical benefits that will save the nation's No. 3 carrier about 50 million annually.

The deal, which would need to be approved by a bankruptcy court judge, covers a portion of roughly 32,000 pilot and nonpilot retirees, their spouses and survivors, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said.

For nonpilots, Thursday's agreement means that certain retirees will go from paying no premiums for their health care coverage before reaching 65 to paying a portion of the cost of their coverage, court papers say. Others will go from paying 10 percent to 25 percent of the cost, and another group will go from paying 22 percent to 35 percent of the cost.

Associated Press




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