AUTOS: What Walter Wants

Peeling off his navy blue overcoat, the United Auto Workers' Walter Reuther stepped briskly along the fifth floor of General Motors' Detroit headquarters, blinked at photographers' flash bulbs and wheeled into pastel-colored conference room No. 5-202. There, trading handshakes and he-man jokes with 13 deputies of his own U.A.W. and 15 G.M. bargainers, he sat down to hammer out the auto industry's first new labor contract since 1955. Cracked Reuther to G.M. Vice President Louis G. Seaton, as he slipped behind a chipped wooden table: "Well, it's the same old table." Grinned Seaton: "We can't afford a new one."

The...

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