The Yelping Over Labor's New Tactics

When Bayou Steel Corp. faced down a 1993 strike by bringing in 400 replacement workers, the United Steelworkers of America went on a hiring binge of its own. The USW brought in New York investment bankers, Washington environmental consultants, and lawyers in Louisiana, Tennessee, and New York. The new team blanketed Bayou with a blizzard of paper: frightening letters to potential investors, tombstone ads in the financial press, submissions to the Securities & Exchange Commission, and hundreds of requests for regulatory crackdowns at the company, based in La Place, La. "It's been a very pervasive campaign," says a beleaguered Richard J. Gonzalez, Bayou's chief financial officer. "The costs have been awesome."

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