Bitter, Deadly Dogfights

Airline deregulation leads to brutal struggles over union wage rates

To be big in the U.S. airline business was once a strength. Now it is a weakness. That is the conclusion many airline executives have reached after five years of bitter fare wars. Largely as a result of airline deregulation, which started in 1978, a two-tiered industry has come into existence. On the one hand are the old, giant, heavily unionized trunk carriers with high, fixed labor costs. Examples: Continental, Eastern and TWA. On the other hand are the new, small, nonunionized carriers. Examples:...

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