FLYING INTO TROUBLE

THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY JUST CAN'T STAND PROSPERITY. AMERICAN'S IS ONLY THE FIRST LABOR FACE-OFF IN A YEAR THAT PROMISES MANY

What happened last Friday night might be termed, in the jargon of the ever precarious airline business, a near miss. A showdown strike by American Airlines pilots was avoided only by the dramatic intervention of someone who doesn't fly commercial, the President of the U.S. Bill Clinton, apparently not at all eager to see billions of dollars drained from the prospering U.S. economy, used a provision of the Railway Labor Act (which governs organized labor in the airline industry) to impose a 60-day cooling-off period.

But this is one industry, and one company, that glows white hot with anger between its...

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