STATE OF BUSINESS: Man of Steel

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Every few years, in early summer, the U.S. is treated to an old, familiar spectacle. With flourish and fanfare, the representatives of the U.S. steel industry's management and labor sit down to negotiate a new wage agreement, working against the steadily approaching threat of a strike deadline. Labor cockily demands a fat wage hike—and management just as cockily turns it down. Eight times since World War II they have fought their suspenseful duel; five times it resulted in strikes, three times in an early agreement. This week the U.S. was up...

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