- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

BRACKENRIDGE, Pa. (AP) - Allegheny Technologies Inc. is cutting off health benefits to its 2,200 locked out workers on Nov. 30.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker locked out workers at 12 plants in Pennsylvania and five other states on Aug. 15.

A key contract issue is the company’s demand that workers begin paying some of their health insurance premiums. Industry analysts say that’s a precursor to a tax on employee health plans that’s set to take effect in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act.

The United Steelworkers says the union is “disappointed that ATI is choosing to further escalate its attack on its employees” and will enroll workers in an emergency health plan.

ATI spokesman Dan Greenfield says the company was required under the contract to provide benefits only for a limited time after the lockout.

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