The Price of Peace Comes High

AS negotiators hammered out new labor contracts in half a dozen big U.S. industries last week, long-term labor contracts that hand out automatic annual pay boosts came under increasing fire. In this recession year, more than 4,000,000 U.S. industrial workers will pocket automatic increases averaging 8¢ an hour under contracts signed during the boom years of 1955-56-57; some 4,300,000 U.S. workers will also take home cost-of-living raises averaging 3¢ to 4¢ an hour—while industry's earnings are expected to decrease by about $2.5 billion. Businessmen who championed long contracts as a prerequisite of labor peace now...

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