Late in September, a major strike takes place in Zenith. It begins with a walkout of telephone company employees, and they are soon joined by truck drivers and dairy product workers. Many other unions act in sympathy with them and, before long, the city rings with talk of a general strike. Most business and industry in Zenith is almost at a standstill. Everyone in the city feels compelled to take sides in this dispute because the strike is bitter. There are many street demonstrations and fights between strikers and scabs. A fire in one of the closed factories is blamed on the workers. Seneca Doane is one of the few prominent citizens to stand up for the strikers, and he defends a number of them in court. Not surprisingly, all of Babbitt's friends and associates angrily oppose the workers.
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