LORAIN, Ohio (April 3, 2012) -- Republic Steel, the nation's leading provider of special bar quality (SBQ) steel, today announced that members of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers Union have ratified a new multi-year labor contract. Additionally, USW-represented employees of the N&T Railway Company and Republic Canadian Drawn have ratified separate new labor agreements.
The new labor contracts, which run through August 15, 2016, cover approximately 1,800 workers at Republic's Canton, Lorain and Massillon, Ohio; Gary, Ind.; and Lackawanna, N.Y., operations, as well as N&T Railway employees in Canton and Lorain, and Republic Canadian Drawn employees in Hamilton, Ont. The agreements include lump sum cash payments, wage increases, and a continuation of fully paid health care coverage and current partnership provisions.
"We're pleased that Republic employees have ratified this new contract, and we look forward to building on our positive relationship with our employees and the union," said Jaime Vigil, Republic Steel president and CEO. "Republic Steel employees are the most experienced and skilled in the industry, and they are key to our continued growth and success. This is a significant accomplishment that will help us move forward with our strategic initiatives to maintain our leadership in the SBQ industry."
David McCall, the USW District 1 Director and Chairman of the union's negotiating committee said "the new Agreement is a cornerstone in the long term viability of Republic Steel which in turn provides real security for our members and retirees."
Republic Steel's investment in Lorain will bring an estimated 449 new jobs and more than $1 billion dollars in annual economic activity to Ohio. The existing 489 jobs in Lorain will be retained.
"The additional capacity created by the new furnace will allow us more flexibility and efficiency in delivering the highly engineered products Republic Steel customers require," Vigil said.
The new furnace is expected to increase the company's liquid steel production by one million tons annually and will account for Lorain's first significant growth in steelmaking in the 21st century. It will also enable additional production of bloom and billet cast for the production of SBQ bar and resumption of the production of seamless tube rounds.
Construction of the electric arc furnace, which is subject to finalizing agreements with the State of Ohio, is scheduled to begin in 2012 and be complete in mid-2013.