|MIDDLETOWN, Ohio, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AK Steel Corporation
(NYSE: AKS) and the United Steelworkers of America (USW) have reached a
tentative agreement on all the terms and conditions of a new labor agreement
covering about 750 hourly production and maintenance employees of Local 1865
at the Ashland Works in Kentucky. The tentative agreement is subject to
ratification by Local 1865 members. The parties said that all planned
production and maintenance work at the plant will continue uninterrupted
during the ratification process.
"We are pleased that we have reached a tentative agreement that both
parties believe serves their needs in this competitive environment," said
James L. Wainscott, president and CEO of AK Steel.
In addition, the company announced today that, in light of record-high
prices for natural gas, and higher than expected costs for scrap, it now
expects to report an operating loss for the third quarter of 2005, instead of
an operating profit.
"While our shipment levels remain strong and spot market selling prices
continue to rebound, we have experienced substantial cost increases for our
steelmaking inputs, especially natural gas and scrap, due to the devastating
effects of Hurricane Katrina," said Mr. Wainscott. "We are fortunate that we
succeeded in securing all necessary inputs to maintain our current level of
operations," he continued, "but, unfortunately, it is going to be more costly
than we could have envisioned at the start of the third quarter."
AK Steel previously provided guidance that it expected to generate an
operating profit of approximately $10 per ton on estimated shipments of
1,625,000 tons for the third quarter of 2005. The company currently expects
third quarter shipments to be approximately 1,675,000 tons. However, based on
its current assessment of the impact of the unexpected cost increases
discussed above, the company currently estimates that it will incur an
operating loss of approximately $20 per ton in the third quarter. This updated
guidance excludes the costs associated with the above-mentioned tentative
labor agreement covering USW members at the company's Ashland Works.
Headquartered in Middletown, Ohio, AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon,
stainless and electrical steel products, as well as carbon and stainless
tubular steel products, for automotive, appliance, construction and
SOURCE AK Steel Corporation
Web Site: http://www.aksteel.com