Labor: The $3.70-an-Hour Raise

That old construction wage game—Can You Top This?—regularly features a new union winner, but the International Union of Operating Engineers may hold top spot longer than usual. It has just ended a 15-month strike in Western Pennsylvania by accepting wage and benefit increases totaling as much as $3.70 an hour over the next four years. Of that, $3.11 will be in straight pay. By 1973, the wages of men who operate bulldozers, scrapers and graders will rise more than 55%, to $8.72 an hour, or $348.80 for a 40-hour week. Contractors will meet the extra cost by charging higher...

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