After Cat: What Does The Right To Strike Mean Now?

The United Auto Workers, perhaps the country's strongest union, barely had tapped its $800 million strike fund six months into its Caterpillar Inc. walkout. Yet the union collapsed like a house of cards within days of Cat's threat to hire permanent replacements for strikers who didn't return to work on the company's terms. The recent showdown and its denouement raise a central question about labor relations today: Does the right to strike mean anything anymore?

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