Demand for Restraints on Big Labor
President's Plea for Steel Strike Settlement
A demand for prompt settlement of differences between labor and management In the steel industry, made by President Eisenhower shortly before he departed on his present eleven-nation tour, pointed up sharply the threat to free collective bargaining that would be posed if the steel strike should be resumed on Jan. 26, That is the expiration date of the Taft-Hartley injunction which sent the men back to work after 116 days away from the mills.
The administration has repeatedly voiced opposition to government intervention in labor disputes. Its reluctance to resort to compulsion was demonstrated by the fact that it allowed an industry-wide strike in a basic industry to go on for three months before moving to obtain the temporary back-to-work order now in force. However, when the President addressed the nation on television just before leaving the country on Dec. 3, he showed that his patience was exhausted.
America will not tolerate for long [he said] the crippling of the entire economy as the result of labor-management disputes in any one industry or any group of industries…. The choice is up to free American employers and employees. Voluntarily in the spirit of free collective bargaining, they will act responsibly, or else, in due course, their countrymen will see that they act responsibly.