ASHLAND, Ky.--()--The United Steelworkers Local 7054 and KES Acquisition Co. (dba Kentucky Electric Steel) have reached agreement on a new labor contract. The new agreement was overwhelmingly ratified in a Wednesday (12 December 2012) vote. Compensation increases took place 16 December with the balance of the contract effective 1 January 2013. The 7-year-plus agreement replaces the current contract which was set to expire on 3 May 2013. The contract covers the 117 hourly personnel at the mini-mill near Ashland, KY.
John Scheel, the Plant Manager, said, “It is very popular these days to use labor unions as scapegoats for deficiencies in US manufacturing. Witness the many 'right-to-work' efforts underway. It has also become popular for the parties on opposite sides of issues to take extreme and unyielding positions and then to doggedly hold to them thereby fostering gridlock. All of this is wrong and counter-productive.
Kentucky Electric Steel and the United Steelworkers of America recognize that we must work together to continue to support a business which is focused on customer service. At the same time, we realize that superior customer care and manufacturing productivity are the drivers that allow sustainability and growth of employment security, wages, and benefits.
The proof of this attitude here at KES is the ratification of this unprecedented labor agreement which will give our customers nearly a decade of stable supply as well security and support for our employees. Hopefully, everyone recognizes that, when two disparate parties sit down to work toward a common goal, if they really desire to succeed, great accomplishments may be achieved. KES and the USWA have done just that.”
KES is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALJ Regional Holdings, Inc. (pink sheets: ALJJ).