Business: Europe's Contentious Winter

Europe's workers this winter are in their angriest, most aggressive mood since the contentious 1930s. After three postwar decades during which they became cozily accustomed to rising wages and proliferating fringe benefits, the unions are now being asked to tighten their belts to hold down inflation. All over Western Europe, workers are striking, protesting and grabbing authority away from management.

Dutch union members, after staging the worst wave of strikes in three decades, won the right to have a voice in the investment policies of their companies. In neighboring Belgium, which just had its...

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