AK Steel presents new offer

Well, it’s good they’re talking again.

The Cincinnati Enquirer
AK Steel on Tuesday presented a revised contract offer to negotiators for 1,800 Middletown Works employees, with changes aimed at overcoming concerns that led to the proposal’s defeat Sept. 25.
The company asked negotiators for International Association of Machinists Local 1943 to review the revised five-year contract proposal, provide a tentative agreement and recommend passage by the workers locked out eight months ago.
The company didn’t put an expiration date on the revised proposal, unlike its original offer, which expired after union members rejected it 998-768.

In related news, I didn’t report this at the time, but (from the same article)

Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones publicly called for an end to the lockout, saying its ripples were creating more work for his department.

The number of sheriff’s sales for homes and personal property is up 13 percent since the lockout began, compared with the same period last year.

In the article I read, he took out a half page ad in a local paper, more or less saying that AK Steel needed to act. He was criticized for appearing to take sides, but defended his actions by saying it was a lockout, so it was the companies turn to move.

As a result, Company May Not Sponsor Sheriff’s Conference As In Previous Years

The ad was paid for by Jones’ campaign fund. He is not up for re-election this year.

In another article I saw on the weekend, he said he’s an elected official and always up for re-election.

Interestingly enough, the steel workers at AK have set up a web site and a bulletin board system to keep themselves informed (a great idea, by the way). In the early days, it was publicly viewable, and I read some interesting stuff about how they were concerned for the safety of the replacement workers, reviewing fragmentary information they were hearing about workplace safety, etc. Now, however, you have to be a member to join, and all the forums are closed, even to viewing, from the outside.

Somewhere in there is a link to my blog, because I see the hits in my server statistics, but when I go to see what’s being said, I can’t. Oh, well, can’t comment on what I can’t see.

At the same time, and in the back of everyone’s mind in this situation, I’m sure, Analysts See Weaker Steel Prices in 4Q

Strength in commercial trucking, manufacturing and fabrication sectors have helped curb concerns in the industry over the slumping housing market and problems at the nation’s largest automakers. However, analysts say steel service center inventories are on the rise and it may not be long before the mills — where business has so far retained its strength — will see a drop in orders.

Mittal Steel USA said last week it will idle two plants that make light flat-rolled products in order to bring production in line with reduced demand.

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