AK Steel Holding Corp. said Wednesday it has reached a tentative settlement with union workers at its Middletown Works plant that would end a year-old lockout fought over the steelmaker's demands for lower labor costs.
Leaders of the Machinists union, who had earlier scheduled an evening meeting to mark the lockout's one-year anniversary, weren't immediately available for comment.
The proposed contract must be ratified by members of Local Lodge 1943 of the International Association of Machinists, who twice last year voted to reject company offers.
The company has continued to operate the mill, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati, with replacement workers and salaried employees.
The steelmaker has insisted it needs a contract allowing it to reduce the work force, have more flexibility in scheduling and pass along to employees some of the costs of health care and retirement benefits.
This story has been running on a long time now. It would be good for the company and workforce to bring this isssue to conclusion.