LABOR: Strike, Strike, Strike

Who can blame an employer for resisting high and rising demands for wage increases? His business is soft, his costs are climbing crazily—and he has to draw the line somewhere.

But who can blame the American worker for demanding more? In the private, nonfarm sector, his real hourly compensation has been declining for more than 15 months—and he has to get off the treadmill some time.

The bitter result of this dilemma is that record numbers of U.S. workers are going on strike as contracts expire in a wide range of industries. Last week 506 stoppages involving 218,000 workers further slowed...

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