LABOR: Down to a System

The final all-night conference broke up with a formal exchange of recriminations for the record. "A wasteful and unnecessary thing," said Chrysler. An "arrogant and stubborn attitude," said the United Auto Workers. Smiling cheerfully, the U.A.W.'s cocky President Walter Reuther stalked out of Detroit's Sheraton Hotel, trailing a school of lesser negotiators behind him. One of them stopped for a moment to give the word to waiting newsmen: "The strike is on, my boys."

His word was hardly necessary. A full 15 minutes earlier, U.A.W. workers had quietly started filing out of the gates at Chrysler plants all around industrial...

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