AMERICAN NOTES: Not an Extra Penny

For 38 days San Franciscans endured burst water mains, broken-down boilers, overflowing fountains, weed-choked lawns, garbage-strewn streets and a transit stoppage that halted their cable cars and buses. But last week some 3,900 city workers were finally back at work — and, though they had gone on strike for an extra $5.5 million, they had not won a penny. It was the most dramatic setback to date for the nation's powerful municipal unions, which have been demanding ever fatter wage boosts and thus helping to drive U.S. cities to the edge of bankruptcy. It was the citizenry that finally...

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