LABOR: Breaking Steel's Separate Peace

Ore miners test the no-strike agreement

The steel industry, once noted for hard-fought strikes, has for most of the past two decades been a model of labor tranquillity. In 1973, the United Steelworkers even formally surrendered the right to strike the basic steel industry over "economic" (wage and benefit) issues; in a widely hailed Experimental Negotiating Agreement (ENA), it pledged to submit pay disputes to binding arbitration. But last week more than 14,000 iron-ore miners shattered steel's separate peace by walking off their jobs in Michigan and Minnesota. It was the first substantial strike in any segment of basic steel...

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