LABOR: The Pied Piper of Chi

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Battle Lines. Last week this good will among his membership stood him in good stead. He had announced that the musicians were out of the recording business for good & all. This could be interpreted as meaning that he wanted the companies to discover a way of giving him royalties (now forbidden by the Taft-Hartley Act), and of shouldering the responsibility of suggesting it. Whatever happened would not happen soon. Last week nothing would have horrified the big record producers more than an end to the ban. They had built up huge stockpiles of master recordings, a great many of which fell far short of their usual critical standards, and they needed months to sell them.

The radio networks, through spokesmen for the American Association of Broadcasters, began lambasting Petrillo hard, using the congressional investigation of his affairs as a sounding board. Their contracts with Petrillo run out on Jan. 31. They were prepared to demand music for television, and an end to Petrillo's refusal to give FM outlets free use of regular musical broadcasts. They had stored up hundreds of recorded musical cues and singing commercials, in case he called a strike.

But while any negotiations involving Petrillo were always as unstable as nitroglycerin, neither side seemed to yearn for a showdown battle. For all their public outcry against him, the big men of the music industry respected, and in some cases, admired, Caesar Petrillo. He was honest, and until his mind was set, he was always open to persuasion. His word was as good as gold.

In the jungle of labor relations, he was the lion who always came out on top. He was no more solicitous of the general welfare than John L. Lewis; his methods were those of a barroom fighter. Many citizens could approve of his general aims, but he lived solely by the maxim that the end justifies the means. His greatest virtue seemed to be that he was a success.

What did Jimmy want this time? "I love my enemies," he cried, "but they don't all love me. They say Petrillo's a son-of-a-bitch. All I want to do is keep up with the times. These companies progress—well, I just want to go along with them."

* By reversing names, their mother used the same for both.

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