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Robert B. Reich

Robert B. Reich: The rebirth of industrial democracy

Robert B. Reich: The rebirth of industrial democracy

The shutdown is over for now, but for five weeks 800,000 federal employees and 1.5 million federal contract workers were pawns in Donald Trump's game of brinksmanship, and they may be so again.

Mr. Trump has also frozen federal workers' pay for 2019, stopping the automatic 2.1 percent cost-of-living increase all civilian workers would have received under federal pay laws.

It's hardly the first time American workers have been pawns in larger power games.

It happens all the time in the private sector.

A private-equity firm gains control and eliminates a sizable portion of a company's jobs. A merger generates a frenzy of payroll cuts. New management threatens to...