The nation's four car makers await the outcome of crucial negotiations which started at mid-day following ugly scenes reminiscent of the bad old days of violent industrial disputes, writes Mike Duffy. The three-week strike by 280 steel workers - which threatens to halt production at Holden, Mitsubishi, Ford and Toyota unless resolved by the weekend - last night reached flash-point when mounted police in riot gear broke up picket lines at a BHP production facility in Victoria.