LABOR: No Squeeze on Rubber

In late April, 60,000 members of the United Rubber Workers walked off their jobs at plants of the industry's Big Four (Firestone, Uniroyal, Goodyear and Goodrich), starting what had been billed as the big labor showdown of 1976. By June 1, according to most assessments, the walkout should have begun to put a serious crimp in the nation's recovery from its worst post-World War II recession. Instead, as it enters its seventh week, the strike has been only a minor annoyance, and the nation's response seems to be one big yawn.

Instead of closing assembly lines around now, as had...