Cincinnati-based AK Steel Corp. has withdrawn a federal lawsuit in Dayton over retiree benefits because it expects quick resolution of a similar suit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, a spokesman recently said.
The Dayton case sought judicial affirmation that the company has the right to modify health benefits for retirees. Spokesman Alan McCoy said AK Steel withdrew that lawsuit Tuesday because a ruling on the suit in Cincinnati, which falls in the same federal court district, would serve the same purpose.
AK Steel announced June 1 that it was changing its health care benefits plan for about 4,600 retirees, effective Oct. 1, making them pay part of the cost of coverage. A group of retirees sued July 18 in Cincinnati to halt the changes.
A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 13.
AK Steel has been operating its Middletown Works with salaried employees and replacement workers since March 1 after locking out about 2,700 union workers when their contract expired at midnight Feb. 28.
AK Steel makes flat-rolled carbon steel and stainless and electrical steel used in cars and appliances. The company’s biggest mill and headquarters are in Middletown, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati, with smaller plants in Zanesville, Mansfield and Coshocton, Ohio; Ashland, Ky.; Rockport, Ind.; and Butler, Pa.
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