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Blue Flu similar to 1978 strike

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Former Fire Union Vice President Sam Posey is watching the city employees’ rift with the city and remembering the summer of 1978 when police and firefighters went on strike in a labor dispute.

“I learned real quick, nobody wins, everybody loses,” said Posey.

Back then, Mayor Wyeth Chandler threatened officers about sick time, something we saw this week from Mayor Wharton. Just like now, the Greater Memphis Chamber was thrust in the middle back then.

Posey said it's all being repeated. His arrest for picketing was front page news back then, and he aired his concerns on WREG’s airwaves.

“This city has been jeopardized, it's a damn shame,” he told us back then.

In 1978, the city shut down, the National Guard was called in and Posey called it chaos.

“There were fires going on. They were accusing us, which we didn't do it,” said Posey.

The strike angered the community, and it took ministers and business leaders to help orchestrate a deal.

It’s something Posey hopes happens this time around.


  • King Willie

    It’s Wyeth Chandler’s fault – him and that Dick Hacket. They are just trying to blame me – let AC have this hot potato. The police and fire love me and I got to spend their retirement too.

  • Nightwatch

    Was the mayor and council thieves doing hundred million dollars in crooked scandal projects for themselves and then saying there’s no money for city workers back then too?

  • Bill Moore

    I remember the summer of 78. I was 13 and I it was the hottest summer. we were afraid of going out of the house at night. the house down the street burned to the ground because of the firemen Not on the job

  • T. Armstrong

    Its going to be hell in a cell we my officers return. You can bet your bottom dollar on that..

  • John T. Dwyer

    This is not similar to 1978 at all, in any shape, form, or fashion.
    In 1978, thugs, crooks, anti-cop news media people, and complainers to IAB were systematically hunted down and beaten within an inch of their lives. Dangerous dilapidated buildings along with known dope and thug hang out houses, were burned down. Stores which complained and created mischief for police and firemen were ransacked and vandalized.
    Squad cars were vandalized. Tires punctured. Wires cut. Hoses cut.
    National guard troops were ambushed with flour, talcum powder, wasp nests, and baggies of milk.
    Administration officials tried to blame fire and police, but it wasn’t them.

    I don’t believe there will ever be as much cohesion as there was in 1978. It’s pretty much all for the individual now days.

  • Orange Mound Slm

    I’m tired of all these cry baby public servants yes servants. I am going to become tax exempt so I don’t have waste my money on you or these section 8 ninjas in this town

    • John T. Dwyer

      I want to become tax exempt too!
      But, I sure don’t want any private security handling my public safety!!! Look what happened to the poor man who got drunk and out of hand on the MATA bus a few weeks ago. That security man splattered that poor drunk all over the bus parking lot, after tossing him off the bus. At least the cops won’t tear you up for talking back!!! Security guards will.
      These section 8’s are our neighbors, friends, family, and acquaintances. The City cannot hire them from anywhere else anymore…remember?

      (By the way Orange Mound SLM, is that little block house diner over on Park still open? They had the best food in town!)

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