AK Steel Plant Closing Violates Union Deal

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) -- An arbitrator has ruled AK Steel would violate its labor agreement with the United Steelworkers of America if it closes its plant in Ashland while continuing to operate another mill in Portsmouth, Ohio.

The Independent in Ashland reported the 36-page ruling was issued Wednesday by arbitrator Raymond J. Sekula and that it sustained a grievance filed by the union against the steelmaker.

The company announced in May that it intends to shut down the Ashland plant this month for the rest of 2009.

AK Steel spokesman Alan McCoy told The Independent the company was still analyzing the ruling and reserved comment.

Steelworkers Local 1865 President Doug Campbell said the ruling doesn't prevent the plant closing, but does reaffirm the union contract.

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