and seventies were a time of change and confusion in Bethlehem. To
most of the city, it seemed as though the golden years brought on by the
Steel would never end. The community still enjoyed financing from
the company for public projects, and employment remained high. Yet
those in the Loop were burdened with the knowlegde that the Steel was becoming
outdated and had to make drastic changes to maintain profitability.
The American steel oligopoly was threatened by the growing number of minimills
and by foreign steel importation. Even more harmful were the precidents
set by earlier decades of Bethlehem Steel employees. Executives expected
large salaries and extensive "perks", and laborers enjoyed high wages and
job security protected by the union. It wouldn't be until the late
seventies that Bethlehem would realized how tied they were to a single
industry as that industry initiated a series of downsizings. By that
time, the downward economical spiral was too far in affect, and all the
town could do was wait to see what the eighties would bring.