WMAQ Channel 5 - Editorial 5 - "Firefighters' Strike" (1980)
Here's an editorial by Dillon Smith, Editorial Director of WMAQ Channel 5, on the Chicago firefighters' strike which, at the time of this editorial, was in its sixth day.
Dillon applauds Mayor Jane Byrne's tough stand against the strikers, yet laces into her for using language such as "goon squads" - but to be sure, he does not in any way support the strike which he emphasizes is illegal and "irresponsible." He cannot comprehend the Chicago Federation of Labor's support for the strike which, he notes, has the potential to endanger countless lives and property.
Mr. Smith especially singles out Frank Muscare, president of the firefighters' union, for scorn after Muscare's thumbing his nose at a judge and going on strike anyway; a clip of Muscare's press conference in which his comments were met with massive applause from his union's members is shown. Dillon then explains how Muscare's "ego trip" will have "incalculable" costs, not only to lives and property but also to the firefighters' jobs themselves.
Dillon ends by sympathizing with those firefighters who regretted going off the cliff with Muscare and returned to work, but tempering his sentiments with bewilderment over those who continue to blindly follow their "irresponsible" union leader's path.
Ending title card:
Dillon Smith - Editorial Director
Monte Newman - General Manager
This aired on local Chicago TV on or about Wednesday, February 20th 1980.
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