Commentary: Why Workers Still Hold A Weak Hand

The new labor pact Caterpillar Inc. and the United Auto Workers (UAW) reached on Feb. 13 is a case study of the conflicting trends in today's economy. On the one hand, Cat has posted record profits for four straight years. On the other, the recent labor deal calls for newly hired workers to be paid 70% of the $20 an hour that current workers earn. It also provides minimal raises for current union members (table).

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