Wage Rates and Current Business Activity
Recent Downturn in Postwar Business Boom
Major wage agreements are being negotiated this spring and summer in an atmosphere of declining business activity for the first time in more than a decade. Aware that many statistical indicators have turned downward and uncertain over business prospects during the life of new contracts, labor and management both are making substantial changes in objectives and in bargaining techniques. The order by John L. Lewis for a week of “stabilizing inaction” in the coal fields is a striking example. It came three days after southern operators had demanded modification of benefits to miners in negotiations for replacement of the bituminous contract which expires June 30.
The United Automobile Workers will shortly begin negotiations with the ...