October Sky

by Homer Hickam

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What happened to shut down rocket manufacturing operations?

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The townspeople really supported the rocket making and many of the union men helped the "Rocket Boys" out by teaching them how to weld and solder, helping them to build their tubes, etc. However, the union eventually wound up going on strike. Mr. Caton told Homer "I just got told by the union I can't work on your rockets no more." Mr. Caton was working on Auk XXV "plus a variety of nozzles, casements and nose cones for display at the science fair." Homer's father, the mine superintendent, believed that it would be no big deal, that the strike would not last more than 24 hours. During the strike, the machine shop would stay open, but none of the union workers would want to work in the shop, because this would mean they would have to cross the union lines and become "scabs." The boys were forced to do the work themselves at night.

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