Steel Trap

“The factory anchored her otherwise tumultuous life. Men had come and gone. Houses had been bought and lost. But the job had always been there. For 17 years. Until now.
Shannon and her co-workers had gotten the news back in October: The factory was closing. Ball bearings would move to a new plant in Monterrey, Mexico. Roller bearings would go to McAllen, Tex. About 300 workers would lose their jobs. The bosses called it ‘a business decision.’ To Shannon, it felt like a backhand across the face.” The NYT’s Farah Stockman spent seven months in Indiana, tracking the impact of a factory’s jobs moving to Mexico. The result is an excellent piece about a steelworker named Shannon Mulcahy.

+ The whole time I was reading this article, I had Bruce Springsteen’s Youngstown playing in my head: From the Monongaleh valley/To the Mesabi iron range/To the coal mines of Appalacchia/The story’s always the same/Seven-hundred tons of metal a day/Now sir you tell me the world’s changed/Once I made you rich enough/Rich enough to forget my name.

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