LABOR: Era of Good Feeling

In a smoke-filled room in Pittsburgh's Carlton House one night last week, two greying executives shook hands on a bargain. David J. McDonald, president of the United Steel Workers, and U.S. Steel's Vice President John Stephens agreed on a 9¢-an-hour increase in wages and fringe benefits for 400,000 steelworkers, thus adding at least $100 million a year to the industry's $3.5 billion wage bill.

Never in the union's 17-year history had it and Big Steel dickered in such an atmosphere of reasonableness. The company, which had originally taken a "no raise" stand, had the rug pulled out from under it by...

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