Tilting at Windmills

November/ December 2011 How both sides got wiser

By Charles Peters

Many of the reforms are in management management, which is becoming more flexible and innovative. But one significant reform, reported by the Wall Street Journal, came from big labor. The UAW is now agreeing to link wages and benefits to company performance instead of, as had become union practice, demanding increases regardless. Incredibly, when the farsighted UAW leader Walter Reuther proposed just that kind of arrangement to the auto industry back in 1946, they turned it down.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.