WESTERN EUROPE: Striking Out the Wage Gap

Like an ominous winter fog, labor strikes have spread across much of West Germany. First, 120,000 metal workers stomped out of 82 plants. Then employers counterattacked by locking out another 360,000 workers at more than 500 factories. Six Daimler-Benz and Audi NSU plants were shut down, and the rest of the German auto industry was expected to suspend production. The union demanded a 9% to 11% pay increase, the companies offered 4.5%, and a mediation team proposed 7.5% under a seven-month contract. The union accepted the compromise, but the employers said nein.

Germany's worst strike in eight years is only...

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