STATE OF BUSINESS: Reuther Retreats

For the first time in his twelve years as president of the United Auto Workers, Walter Reuther took a licking. With auto-industry contracts due to expire this week, Reuther last week jettisoned his key demand—for profit sharing. He issued a face-saving statement that profit sharing "was never a demand, but a mechanism for giving the stockholders, consumers, workers and managers their just equities.'' This fooled no one. Behind closed doors Reuther himself had told unionists that they must cut their demands, take "a more realistic" approach to bargaining. He decided to drive for a 10¢ hourly wage boost (v....

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