RAILROADS: Airing for the Featherbeds

For the first time since World War I, the presidents of the Eastern railroads last week announced they would fight a wage demand of the "Big Five" Brotherhoods.* Before they will consider the 30% raise asked fortnight ago by the unions, the roads want revision of some service rules. Thus management attacked the No. 1 economic monstrosity of railroad labor practice: "featherbedding."

Featherbed service rules began to get abusive after World War I, when the unions sought to offset layoffs and share speed-up savings by stretching the work. Veteran lobbyists, they also...

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