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Greyhound pay cut points to tough bargaining in '84

In a vote that could be significant at the start of a new bargaining year, union employees of Greyhound Bus Lines approved a new contract to end their seven-week strike. The ratification, 7,4004 to 2,596, was, in the words of one union official, ''A matter of being realitstic.'' The vote meant a pay cut of 7. 8 percent and other concessions, but keeping jobs that could have been lost otherwise.

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With many employees complaining they ended up striking for nothing they could not have had without a strike, the ratification awoke unions facing hard contract negotiations in 1984 to a difficult realization: Worker insecurity can erode the militancy of unionists facing tough employers. Among others, steel, mine, auto, and meatpacking workers have taken ''no concession'' positions in advance of bargaining, but will face employers who believe economic conditions give them leverage to seek labor cost savings next year.

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