This is fascinating. I didn’t know any of this. I guess I can be excused – not only did it happen before I got involved with metal stamping, it happened before I was born.
From Wikipedia (a great reference and a great web site, by the way).
The Truman administration chose not to impose price controls, as the federal government had done during World War II; instead the administration attempted to avoid inflationary pressures through creation of a Wage Stabilization Board that sought to keep down the inflation of consumer prices and wages while avoiding labor disputes whenever possible. Those efforts failed, however, to avoid a threatened strike of all of the major steel producers by the United Steel Workers of America when the steel industry rejected the board’s proposed wage increases unless they were allowed greater price increases than the government was prepared to approve.
The Truman administration believed that a strike of any length would cause severe dislocations for defense contractors and for the domestic economy as a whole. Unable to mediate the differences between the union and the industry, Truman decided to seize their production facilities, while keeping the current operating management of the companies in place to run the plants under federal direction.
From a Wikipedia article