Angry striking towboat pilots pulled barges off to the sides of U.S. inland waterways Saturday like so many snowbound cars, halting grain, petroleum, chemicals and steel.

Management ultimately may have to share some of the blame for ignoring calls by the pilots' group, Pilots Agree, to sit down and negotiate higher wages. Perhaps they discounted a strike threat because the group has only been in existance three months and represents about a third of the nation's pilots, who make an average of $50,000 annually. If in fact the strike holds up, both sides should sit down as quickly as possible and resolve their differences so that all of the nation's inland waterborne trade can start moving again.

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