As the woes of the steel industry continue, the United Steelworkers (USW) is talking to Bethlehem Steel and USX about possible concessions at several plants. Bethlehem wants cuts of up to 2,000 jobs, plus some wage reductions and work-rule changes, as part of its effort to modernize two structural steel plants. The union would get stock in a new joint venture the company plans to set up with British Steel.

At USX, a management-union task force is looking into the possibility of a union buyout of the company's 700-worker Chicago South Works. The plant, which also makes structural steel, probably will close if it isn't modernized. To make the deal work, the USW would need to make concessions, including job cuts.

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