In early 1983, union negotiators in the American steel industry agreed to pay concessions in the face of declining demand. Similar developments occurred in other industries. Despite concessions, significant layoffs occurred. In the case of Weirton Steel, where workers were represented by an independent union, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was used to buy the firm preserve jobs. The ESOP worked for many years but eventually financial difficulties led to restructuring and a return to conventional ownership (and reduced operations).
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