AK Steel and UAW Reach Agreement on Progressive Labor Contract at Rockport Works

 

Middletown, OH, June 14, 2004—AK Steel Corporation (NYSE: AKS) said today that members of the United Autoworkers of America (UAW) have voted to accept a progressive three-year labor agreement covering about 160 hourly employees at the company’s Rockport (IN) Works.  AK Steel said the contract is patterned after an agreement reached last month with UAW-represented employees of AK Steel’s Coshocton (OH) Works, and is the first agreement established at the Rockport Works.

Among other provisions, the Rockport Works agreement calls for a single job classification, two-tier wages for the duration of the agreement and no minimum base workforce guarantee.  In addition, the existing defined benefit pension plan for the employees covered by the agreement has been locked and frozen and a new defined contribution pension plan has been established.  The new agreement also establishes increases in cost-sharing for active employee health care benefits and eliminates retiree health care benefits.

Under the new agreement, some employees will receive an initial base wage increase, however no other base wage increases are contained in the agreement.  Employees will receive a ratification payment and two annual lump sum payments over the span of the contract, which extends to September 30, 2007. 

“Clearly this is an agreement that recognizes AK Steel’s need for more competitive labor costs, and we again commend the leadership and members of the UAW at Rockport Works for taking positive steps to assist in our return to sustainable profitability,” said James L. Wainscott, president and CEO of AK Steel.

The new agreement was ratified June 11, 2004 and takes effect today.  The UAW also represents about 1,500 employees at AK Steel’s Butler (PA) Works.  The Rockport Works finishes flat-rolled carbon and stainless steels for automotive, appliance and other markets.

Headquartered in Middletown, AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, as well as tubular steel products, for automotive, appliance, construction and manufacturing markets.