LABOR: Slow Siege

"Collective bargaining" was the textbook term for what had been going on during the nine weeks of the Chrysler strike in Detroit. But the 10,574 Chrysler dealers with nothing to sell, the 89,000 employees of the 25 Chrysler plants, and the thousands of parts suppliers and their workers who live by Chrysler earnings knew it last week as a long and distressful siege.

"I knew it meant something ominous when I walked out that gate," said Tom Vamplew, a chubby little gear and axle inspector at the Lynch Road plant. "I felt it was gonna be tough—the weather was wrong...