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Union workers to vote on AK Steel's final offer



Published: Tue, October 17, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The company changed some of the back-to-work conditions in its offer.

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) -- About 1,800 union workers locked out of AK Steel's Middletown Works for more than seven months are to vote Wednesday on a contract the company has said is its final offer.

Workers voted down AK's last proposal, which the company also called a final offer, on Sept. 25 by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin, union officials said.

Since then, the company has reworked its wording of back-to-work conditions, including promising a 40-hour work week within one week of an employee's callback, an AK spokesman said.

The company said all union members would be scheduled to return to work within 90 days of the lockout's end, and it would provide 300 a week to employees until they are scheduled.

The lockout would end Oct. 26 if workers, now represented by the International Association of Machinists since a July election, accept the proposal, AK officials said Monday.

Union leaders has scheduled informational meetings Wednesday to discuss the proposal with members but has not said if it will recommend ratification. Voting is to end at 7 p.m.

Some 2,500 hourly production and maintenance workers represented then by the Armco Employees Independent Federation were locked out when their old contract expired Feb. 28. Retirements and resignations have reduced the union work force to 1,857 as of Oct. 1.

AK Steel makes flat-rolled carbon steel and stainless and electrical steel used in cars and appliances. Its headquarters and largest plant are in Middletown, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati.




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