What you neglected to mention was that the workers didn't offer to return to work until January 13, 1999, after having been on strike for more than two months. It would probably be fair to attribute some of the losses to the strike. Perhaps it makes more sense financially for a company to not keep workers who strike.

Perhaps I'm naive, but if union workers have a right to walk off the job on strike, why should the company, in this case Kaiser Aluminum, have to allow them to come back?

There's nothing wrong with employees organizing, and nothing wrong with them striking. But when you escalate labor negotiations to the level of a walkout, it's pretty pathetic to cry to Mommy (read: US Department of Labor) when the company decides that they don't want to employ workers who are likely to strike.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.