The company, based in Canonsburg, Pa., said when the tentative agreement was reached last month that the contract included a signing bonus, raises and profit sharing, and would expire in 2009.

Ormet still needs to negotiate a new deal for electricity service similar to what other industrial users have in the region before the company can restart the reduction facility, which turned ore into aluminum for processing, the union said.

"One major hurdle has been taken care of. The next hurdle is to get this smelter reduction plant back up and running," said Jim Markus, vice president of United Steelworkers Local 5724, which represents about 850 workers.

Ormet emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, and has since sold a rolling mill where aluminum is rolled into sheets to Beachwood, Ohio-based Aleris International Inc. About 350 workers were employed at that plant, also in Hannibal.

Union members have not worked at Ormet's plants in Hannibal, since Nov. 22, 2004. They voted to strike four days before that, but a judge later ruled that their action was actually a lockout and workers could get unemployment pay.

At the time of the strike, Ormet said it wanted to save $23 million by freezing pension benefits, raising health insurance costs for workers and retirees and changing rules for job and overtime assignments.

The union had proposed eliminating 300 of the plants' 1,220 jobs, raising the company's health care deductible and freezing its pension plan in favor of contributions to the United Steelworkers plan.

Ormet was the largest employer in Ohio's Monroe County, which has about 15,000 residents and had a 9.2 percent unemployment rate in May, the highest in the state.

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