It is unfortunate that you have been drawn into this ridiculous propaganda. As a law-abiding government contractor Grafton Steel abides by our commitments to meet or exceed standards for safety and production. You have demonstrated a complete disregard for Grafton Steel's reputation, its importance to the war effort, and repeated counsel intended to help you.”— Notice of Termination, lying as Appalachian companies are known to do
Grafton Steel is a location in Fallout 76.
Background[edit | edit source]
In the 21st century, the robust mixed economy was joined by Grafton Steel, one of the largest mills in the region. Grafton Steel Mill was the center of economic development for the town of Grafton, and its large, industrial machines continued to churn out steel for the war effort when the Sino-American War began. Selected as a government preferred war contractor, the biggest employer in the valley was suddenly given free reign to crush labor laws and ignore environmental regulations. Effective immediately all shifts began working a 6/72 schedule to make the production quota. Only minute alterations were made to the free time: 12 hour shift granted a half an hour for lunch at the work station and three fifteen minute breaks, with additional time-and-a-half pay only for the 11th and 12th hour of each day. Sick time was also no longer paid and a doctor's note was required for any and all absences. Although spun by the HR department into an opportunity for the workers, it was a terrifying decrease in working conditions. Coupled with deep corruption and collusion with the government: Kickbacks, wink-and-nod inspections, bribery, etc. - Grafton Steel was given free reign over its business. 
By 2077, this resulted in rampant devastation of the ecosystem, accelerated by dumping toxic sludge directly into the waterways, and mounting numbers of injuries and death among the workers. Ignored by the company's owners, most importantly CEO Arthur Wood, the situation deteriorated steadily. In order to maintain the pretense of being a company that cares about its workers, Grafton Steel routinely manipulated statistics. For instance, the first quarter figures for deaths, dismemberment, and sickness in 2077 were horrible. However, the infamous HR manager, Stacie Tibbetts, altered them at the CEO's behest to only include events that took place on the premises and sicknesses confirmed by the company doctor. 31 deaths became 2, 12 dismemberment were reduced to six, and 123 counts of sicknesses were down to 13. All much, much more palatable to shareholders and the regulatory board. By June, the situation was so bad that the only viable option going forward was to shut the mill down, but Governor Evans refused to even entertain the notion - even if it meant strikes. Other workers, like Darius Angler, opted to walk as well, rather than continue risking life and limb to line the pockets of U.S. capitalists. Some, like his relative, William Angler, were critically injured on the job. Miraculously surviving an encounter with the furnace and believed dead, Darius lost his mind and began plotting revenge against the company from the Valley's backwoods. It didn't change anything: Arthur Woods and his staunch ally, Stacie Tibbetts, continued to squeeze the workers.
The company tried the usual heavy-handed tactics: Continuing to automate the mill, intimidation and sacking troublesome workers, like Otis Pike. However, they could not stave off the inevitable: Worker morale was plummeting and Pike's agitation for better safety standards at the Mill contributed to that. Although fired and reported to the authorities as a suspected communist, and facing charges of treason under the Wartime Workers Act, Pike continued his work. The strikes finally hit in September 2077, following on a string of sabotage attempts at the mill. The striking workers shut down the mill. Sudden loss of steel production from the city resulted in Sugar Grove launching a surveillance operation, to root out suspected communists and saboteurs responsible for damage to what was a vital war asset. Out of desperation, Pike kidnapped Arthur Wood's son to force the CEO to invest in better safety features. Wood, ever adamant, refused to consider doing so, as it would necessitate shutting down the plant for a time, and the steel was needed by the war effort. In his own words, he would let his only son go to save the country from communism.
In the end, it didn't matter one bit. Grafton Steel's contribution to the war effort was meaningless, as the war culminated in a nuclear conflagration that destroyed the country and the Woods with it. The last laugh also belonged to the workers: Darius Angler dumped a special concoction into the furnace, causing the refinery's smoke stacks to blanket the region in a thick, white powder that wiped out most of the plantlife and animals, granting the region its new name: Toxic Valley.
Points of interest[edit | edit source]
The steel mill is massive and dominates the valley. However, despite the winding corridors it's pretty easy to get the hang of. Otside, there are two important locations: The silo and loading/unloading warehouses to the northwest, with an armor workbench outside. Cooling stacks used by the factory are to the northeast. At the southern end lies the Grafton Steel Yard, a claimable workshop. The whole factory is surrounded by a highway on the eastern end and a reservoir used for dumping waste in the western part.
- Inside, the roughly L-shaped building is divided into three parts:
- The smelter is to the northwest and includes a power armor station and another armor workbench on the ground floor.
- The blast furnace is to the northeast. The upper level includes chambers with a tinkerer's and weapons workbench.
- The rolling mill occupies the entire stretch of the southern part of the building, and includes a chemistry station on the upper floor.
Notable loot[edit | edit source]
- Notes and holotapes
- Dynamic spawns
- Consumables: Blackwater Brew, New River Red Ale, Oak Holler Lager, Old Possum, Pickaxe Pilsner
- Junk: Loose screws
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Grafton Steel appears in Fallout 76.
- Important Memo
- Darius Angler's Manifesto, part 3: " I've uncovered a conspiracy between the government and Grafton Steel. Kickbacks, wink and nod inspections, bribes, you name it. There's no telling how big this is. I think they bugged my house, so I've moved to a cabin in the woods where nobody can find me. Yesterday I had to shoot a woman. She claimed she was just hiking, but I know she was an agent sent to spy on me."
- Letter to the Media
- Confidential Safety Data
- Charleston Capitol Building terminals: "6.12.2077 Sender: [A.Poole]
>> Grafton Steel
What are you thinking?! You can't let them keep operating that mill, have you seen what's coming out of there? You are gonna kill of any chance at tourism in the northern valley with that ash.
Now they don't have manufacturing or tourism? If you thought the worker riots were bad before, they'll be out there thick as fleas on a dogs back.
- Darius Angler's Manifesto, part 1
- Injury Report
- Woods Estate terminals
- Notice of Termination
- Woods Estate terminals
- Sugar Grove terminals: "9-20-77: Grafton Communists"
- Diary of Otis Pike
- Darius Angler's Manifesto, part 6