Labor: Walking the Rails

The largest U.S. railway walkout since 1946 (when Harry Truman threatened to draft strikers) last week tied up passenger and freight trains in 38 states.

The strike, called by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen against eight major railroads, immediately stranded 32,000 commuters in Chicago, another 12,000 in Boston. Mail service was disrupted and transport problems forced manufacturers to cut back production. More than 200,000 workers found themselves on short schedules or off the job altogether.

Ostensibly, the brotherhood was demanding an apprenticeship program to train firemen for engineer positions. It...

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