LABOR: A Costly Coal Showdown

One of the worst threats hanging over the economy has been the prospect that 120,000 members of the United Mine Workers would stop digging coal next week, when their union contracts expire. A mine strike would reduce U.S. energy supplies more than the Arab oil embargo last winter did; it would cause factory shutdowns and layoffs in industries far beyond the coal fields, and it would seriously worsen the gathering recession. For a while, a strike had seemed almost inevitable. But late last week the outlook brightened a bit, and the chance improved...

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