When President Leroy A. Wilson opened a special stockholders' meeting at American Telephone & Telegraph Co.'s Manhattan headquarters last week, a strange sight met his eyes. One stockholder carried a big sign saying: "I protest against the unfair labor practices of my own company." Another waved the message: "I am not interested in dividends that are sweated out of the working people."

The sign-bearers were playing an ambivalent role. As part of the 200,000 employees (out of 600,000) who have bought A.T. & T. stock at the company's urging, they represented management....

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