February 28, 2007 / 10:27 PM / 12 years ago

CORRECTED - AK Steel, union reach tentative pact to end lockout

(Corrects headline to match text that it was a lockout, not a strike)

NEW YORK, Feb 28 (Reuters) - AK Steel (AKS.N) has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the union representing workers it locked out of its main plant for a year, the steelmaker said on Wednesday.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) told the company it would present the contract to its members for ratification, AK Steel said.

The new agreement would be effective on March 15 and run through March 15, 2011. The union, which represents about 1,750 hourly production and maintenance employees at AK Steel’s Middletown, Ohio works, could not immediately be reached for comment,

The company locked out 2,700 workers and began operating the steel-making plant with replacements on March 1 last year after failing to reach agreement on a new labor contract.

The workers at the plant, between Dayton and Cincinnati, were represented at the time by the independent AEIF union, which was subsequently taken over by the IAM.

In the past year, AK Steel has operated the plant with replacements and reduced the workforce through attrition.

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