This is an excellent article. These may be Scottish men but it is so absolutely the same situation so many manufacture laborers have dealt with here in the U.S.

To capture that, we need to talk with the people who have lived it, as I have done with former Scottish steelworkers. Listening to the voices of workers reveals the complex experience of job loss and economic restructuring.
These workers are not deluded by rose-tinted nostalgia; they simply recognize that the jobs they have now don’t offer the real, tangible benefits of industrial work. Following a path common to other displaced industrial workers, the former steelworkers I interviewed found new jobs as production line workers, taxi drivers, cleaners, or janitorial staff. Most of these jobs are insecure and low-paid.

For James Carlin there was “absolutely no comparison whatsoever”—his wage more than halved in his first new job. Likewise, Cunningham’s annual salary diminished from £24,000 to £10,000 Finding it “hard to say,” Johnston admitted that after twenty-five years his annual wage is now just below his steelworker wage of 1991 in absolute terms.

It wasn’t just that wages are considerably lower. Workers also lost access to monthly bonuses, union-negotiated wage rises, and seniority-based promotion. Instead of improving their standard of living, these former steelworkers had to cut household spending and sacrifice hobbies, social outings, and family holidays. Some sold their cars and even forfeited ownership of their homes.