National Affairs: The Biggest Strike

Within an hour one day last week the C.I.O.'s United Steelworkers accepted and the U.S. Steel Corp. rejected President Truman's compromise wage offer in the steel negotiations. The steel strike—the inconceivable strike, the biggest strike in U.S. history—was born.

The President had issued what amounted to an ultimatum. He had asked C.I.O. President Phil Murray and U.S. Steel President Ben Fairless to settle for an 18½¢-an-hour wage increase. This was 3½¢ more than Ben Fairless' final offer of 15¢; 1¢ less than Phil Murray's final demand of 19½¢.

Replying, Phil Murray said yes in...

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