AK Steel said today that it will restart an idled cold rolling mill at the company's Zanesville Works in Ohio and recall 14 hourly production and maintenance employees who have been on layoff since the unit was idled in June of 2005.The recalled employees are members of the United Autoworkers of America (UAW), Local 4104. Local 4104 members overwhelmingly ratified a competitive new six-year labor contract in May. The restart of the cold rolling mill, a Sendzimir-type, or "Z-mill," is the result of continued strong demand for the company's electrical sheet steels. The restarted Z-mill will primarily support AK Steel's cold-rolled,
non-oriented electrical steel production. AK Steel previously announced that it would significantly expand its production capacity for electrical steels, including at Zanesville Works. The restart of the Z-mill follows the restart of an annealing and pickling line (A&P line) in April 2006 that was also idled in March of 2005. The Zanesville A & P line primarily supports production of 400-series
stainless steels, used extensively for automotive exhaust applications. Idling of the two units had resulted in the indefinite layoff of about 50 hourly Zanesville production and maintenance employees when the company consolidated production at lower cost plants. The restart of the cold rolling mill will allow the recall of all remaining laid off employees. "AK Steel salutes the UAW and employees of Zanesville Works for responding to the needs of an extremely competitive marketplace by ratifying a new-era labor agreement that allows for this and other
investments in our business," said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel. "Such investments will help ensure that AK Steel is cost-competitive throughout the world."