National Affairs: Beached

Skippers who read the signs got their ships loaded fast and moved up sailing dates. More than 100 managed to steam out of U.S. ports ahead of schedule one day last week. Next day, Joe Curran lowered the boom. Men of Curran's 50,000-member National Maritime Union and two smaller C.I.O. maritime unions went "on the beach" to win themselves higher wages and better working conditions.

The N.M.U. called it limited war, applied it only to American-registry freighters and passenger ships (making up about 650 of the 1,350 in the U.S. merchant fleet). It excluded those that carry military cargoes, relief supplies and...

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