State of Business: What Happened in Steel

The expectation of a quick and noninflationary peace in the nation's basic industry abruptly dimmed last week in Pittsburgh. Instead of a new labor contract by March 1, as industry leaders had predicted, the Steelworkers' Union and the eleven top U.S. steel companies laconically recessed their formal negotiations until May 1. Said Steelworkers President David McDonald: "We have not been able to reach any understandings on either economic or noneconomic issues."

McDonald wanted a token wage hike plus a many-fringed package to soften layoffs and spread the work: bigger unemployment benefits, longer...

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