Big Steel's Winter of Woes

A strike threat has the companies groping for a wage deal by spring

Like mausoleums of a passing age, they stand shuttered and empty. They are the padlocked steel mills of what has come to be known grimly as the American Rust Bowl, and from the rail sidings of East Chicago to the icy waterways of western New York State, they offer mute testimony to the industrial damage that has been done by the longest economic decline in half a century.

Though signs are beginning to mount that the 18-month-old slump is at last starting...

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