I was there for the filming in 1983. I taught business and economics at a local H.S and remember very well the circumstances surrounding the events portrayed in the movie.
In the scenes filmed at the USWA Local (actually in Steubenville, OH about 5 miles upriver), the references to the mill possibly being sold to the workers actually happened to Weirton Steel across the river in Weirton, WV as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). I also remember the flight from the valley after the bad recession of the early 80's of many, many workers. The summer of 1983 I visited relatives in San Antonio, TX where I saw signs outside small shops begging for welders and skilled tradesmen. I imagine some displaced Ohio workers migrated to those jobs.
It's a shame families were ruined because of these disruptions but unfortunately it currently happens daily on a smaller, less noticeable scale. I have a gut feeling we'll be seeing more and more of this due to GATT, NAFTA, and the Illegal Alien problems. Ross Perot, you were right! The sucking sound continues!
Just as there are remakes of "State Fair" and "Insomnia" or "The Lake House" perhaps we'll sadly be treated to a remake of "Heart of Steel".
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