UPDATE 1-U.S. Steel's locked-out Canadian workers vote to accept contract

Tue Sep 3, 2013 3:47pm EDT
 
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By Allison Martell

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Workers locked out at U.S. Steel Corp's Lake Erie works at Nanticoke, Ontario, have voted to accept a new five-year contract, and will start heading back to work "in the coming days," the company said on Tuesday.

The lockout, which started on April 28 and affected about 1,000 workers, shut down raw steel production at the Canadian mill and weighed on the steelmaker's second-quarter results.

U.S. Steel said in an emailed statement that it expects all employees to be back at work over the next 30 days. It did not say when shipments would resume. It can take weeks, sometimes months, to restart a blast furnace.

In a note posted on its website, United Steelworkers Local 8782 said 79 percent of its members participated in the vote, and 57 percent voted to accept the deal.

The integrated Lake Erie mill has the capacity to produce as much as 2.6 million tons of raw steel each year, and accounted for about 10 percent of U.S. Steel's raw steel output in 2012.

The lockout is the third at a facility formerly owned by Canadian steelmaker Stelco since U.S. Steel acquired Stelco in 2007.

U.S. Steel declined to discuss the specifics of the new deal, but called it "a fair contract that will help to make Lake Erie works sustainable and competitive".