The good news is that these sparks aren't the result of labor discord. Rather, they're signs of a partnership being forged between industry and labor - one that's all too rare in today's hyper-partisan political and economic environment.
The two groups are working together to grow the U.S. chemical sector -- and create more secure, well-paying middle-class jobs in the process. The partnership could emerge as a model for reviving other American industries and ending the years of economic stagnation that so many workers have endured through a slow, anemic recovery from the Great Recession.
Federal officials say that the U.S. economy began its recovery nearly seven years ago, in June 2009. For millions of American workers, that finding rings hollow. The percentage of people participating in the labor force has hovered below 63 percent for nearly two years. That's well below pre-recession levels.
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