LABOR: Narrow Squeak

For three weeks tough, scow-prowed Joe Curran, president of the National Maritime Union and once a loyal follower of the Communist line, had been fighting the Commies at the N.M.U.'s convention in Manhattan. It had been hard going; the N.M.U. is one of the most Communist-riddled of all U.S. unions.

Curran's battle stategy was to make no deals with the opposition, to get his help from the rank & file. He hammered hard at his Communist opponents, battled hour-long heckling and gallery demonstrations, threatened to quit if the Communists got their way.

Last week the showdown came. Cocky, cigar-chewing Joe Stack, ousted...

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