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I was there and you weren't. The Sheet & Tube invested in the tune of $2.0 million per furnace to keep down emissions. From 1972 to 1977, the total investment was over $50.0 million for emissions equipment but, the Democrats threw a monkey wrench in the works by changing the emission standards. I would say, this was the reason why the Sheet & Tube couldn't buy new equipment. To stay in business, the Sheet & Tube would have to rip out new equipment and replace with newer equipment to meet the new EPA standards and the investment would exceed the cost of building a completely new production facility.
The average labor's wage back then was around $12,000/yr and furnace operators averaged $30,000/yr. As a labor foreman in the 60's, I cleared over $1,000/mo. The checks you saw from your grandfather could have been subpay which was in addition to his hourly wage. Back in the 70's, a person who was above the averge wage scale, worked in a steelmill.
If a Steelworkers Local back then, could afford to give their Union President a new Cadillac to drive every year, wasn't hurting in collecting union dues from its members.
November 4, 2011 at 12:34 a.m.
In addition, for your information, in 1977, China's steel production was a little over 8.0 million tons and the United States was the No. 1 steel producer in the world with over 200.0 million tons.....And for 2011, China's steel production was a little over 600.0 million tons making them the No. 1 steel producer in the world leaving the United States in 5th place with 90.0 million tons. FYI, China has old equipment and they don't have EPA regulations
November 4, 2011 at 12:54 a.m.