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On behalf of the department, I want to say to the best of my knowledge that there is not a single affiliated international union which refuses to admit qualified workers, either by constitutional provision or by national policy because of race, religion, or national origin. In addition, the department's recent convention, and the executive council of the department, strongly endorsed the testimony which I presented in support of the bill to eliminate race discrimination in apprenticeship programs.
Although the primary responsibility for nondiscriminatory hiring is of necessity the employer's, unions have worked harder than any other group, in my opinion, to end the evil of racial or religious discrimination. The national leadership of our Building and Construction Trade Unions has made a great deal of progress by persuasion and education to persuade those local unions to end any discrimination, and we must assume that some of the 8,000 local building trades unions in certain areas in this country do condone discrimination. However, as you know, under existing statutes, any attempt by the national headquarters to dictate to a local union could very well be determined an illegal act in a voluntary association, and contrary to the expressed will of Congress.
Local unions have gotten the impression that they now have complete autonomy and need not respond to national policies. So at this time when the legal and psychological impact of the Landrun-Griffin law has tended to weaken such disciplinary powers as the international union may have, we need all the legislative support possible if we are to play a proper role in ending discrimination and we thus support the objectives of H.R. 262 introduced by Chairman Powell of the House Education and Labor Committee.
In closing I wish to state that the early enactment of legislation would be a timely step in the right direction. We can no longer tolerate discrimination of any kind in employment practices or in any other area of our society. With every personal good wish, I am, Sincerely yours,
C. J. HAGGERTY, President, Buililing and ('onstruction Trades Department.
STATEMENT OF AL IIARTNETT, INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER OF THE
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ELECTRICAL, Radio & MACHINE WORKERS, AFL-CIO, AND CHAIRMAN OF TIIE IUE INTERNATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS COMMITTEE
I would like to thank the subcommittee and its distinguished chairmani, Mr. Roosevelt, both personally and as chairman of our union's international civil rights committee, for the opportunity and privilege of presenting our views on this current issue before the subcommittee, and through you to all the legislators of our Congress.
I think there is one key word in the proposition before you and that is "equal." It does not say “special,” or “extraordinary” or “exceptional.” It says “equal."
Therefore, I do not believe that we, myself and the organization I represent, could be construed as being here as special pleaders. We ask you to grant only equal employment opportunity to all of the people of these United States.
To accomplish this, we need more than mere passage of an act that announces and declares good intentions and a statement of principle. We need a strong law with effective enforcement machinery, a law with teeth, a law that declares to the whole world that in the United States of America discrimination in employment against an individual or group for reasons of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, or sex it not only immoral through national sentiment, it is illegal through national law.
In my humble opinion, the only way this law would be enforcible is to create real penalities for its violation. In my reading of the proposed legislation I can find no real penalties. The enforcement procedure, as presently outlined, provides that if an offender chooses to fight compliance, he could do so for years. And if he finally loses the judicial battle to avoid compliance, what is his penalty ? Only that he must comply with the law.
Nowhere in the act, as presently proposed, is there any provision for imprisonment for flagrant violators. Nowhere in the main portion of the act, as presently proposed, is there any provision for fines for violators.
In fact, in only one portion of the act is there any provision for a fine, and that is, of course, in section 15, where a fine of $100 to $500 is provided for failure to post a notice of “excerpts of the Act and such relevant information which the Commission deems appropriate to effectuate the purposes of the Act."
In the first place, gentlemen, a fine of this microscopic proportion, in my opinion, becomes merely a license fee for disobedience of the posting provision.
And in the second place, I would view the act as proposed as inconsistent, inasmuch as it provides a penalty, albeit tiny, for failure or refusal to comply with a separate and distinct portion of the act, but provides no penalty, unless compliance could be considered such, for direct, deliberate, and willful refusal to obey and comply with the act's main, principal, and important features, purposes, and intent.
I would not like to have anyone accuse me of advocating denial of judicial procedure or due process of law to anyone. Nothing is further from my mind.
But the act, as presently proposed, is directly similar, if not identical, to the enforcement provisions of our current labor laws. llere, gentlemen, I believe I can speak with some authority. I have had much experience with enforcement, and attempted enforcement, of our labor laws.
Some of you, too, have realized the inadequacies of our labor laws' enforcement provisions. Not too long ago, I had an opportunity to appear before another subcommittee of the blouse Education and Labor Committee, headed by Mr. Pucinski, and to testify on some of these inadequacies.
I pointed out, along with others, and many of you agreed, that the present labor laws and procedures are toothless when it comes to enforcement because it is profitable for a management so inclined to violate the law by stalling and delaying for many years, with the result that if finally found guilty, it must merely comply with the law.
I do not believe it is your purpose to put another toothless statute on our record books. In the name of many millions of discriminated-upon workers, I ask you: Give this law teeth. Give it enforcibility. Give it life, so that we can stamp out the evils that have necessitated its consideration here today. Give it expediency, for indeed, justice delayed is justice denied.
In urging stringent penalties for violation of this act, I am not advocating these penalties for management violators alone. I ask impartial and equal treatment for any violator, be he management, labor, or anything else.
I would not presume to claim that discrimination does not exist in the labor movement. It does exist, and for this existence I am heartily ashamed.
But I can say with pride that to my knowledge 10 discriminations exists in the IUE, my union, and in the few instances where it had been brought to my attention in the past, we took immediate steps to eliminate it. Where it does exist within labor organizations, it is the creature of small minds, jealous of personal positions, and unwilling to move into the 20th century
By attacking discrimination within the labor movement as well as in management, you will be lending immeasurable assistance to the vast majority of labor union leaders and labor union members throughout our Nation who fight daily and tirelessly for the same purposes as this bill.
In this statement I shall not go into the evils, the false rationalizations, the unreasonableness of discrimination by reason of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, or sex. These facts, I am certain, are already well known to you gentlemen, and they have already been touched upon, more eloquently than I could hope to, by those who preceded me here.
But I would like to touch upon a few economic points concerning the cost of discrimination to this country. Approximately one-tenth of our worker population in the United States is being prevented from producing and thus from buying a large portion of this Nation's output because of discrimination in employment—and this is our Negro work force.
Too many of our citizens with ability and training are prevented from utilizing their skills, and too many are prevented from acquiring these abilities and skills, solely because of the hue of their skins.
In 1959, the average real family income for our 5512 million families was $6,520—but don't be fooled by that figure. The top 5 percent-2.9 million families, with annual incomes of $15,000 and over-accounted for $75 billion, or 21 percent of the total.
The bottom 14 percent—7.5 million families, with annual incomes under $2,000— received only $8.4 billion, or about 2 percent of the total family income. And you will find that very many—too many-of these families in the bottom 14 percent are Negro.
A mid-1950's study by Elmo Roper put the cost of discrimination in the United States at $30 billion a year and a loss of $10 billion in taxes. These are the latest figures I could find, but I feel certain that the figures have worsened in the intervening years because no one has done anything substantial to better them.
Those who choose to fight against equal opportunity for all people are quick to try to degrade our Negro citizens by pointing out that a large percentage of relief recipients in urban concentrations are in the nonwhite category. I question the motives and sincerity of these people opposed to public assistance to the less fortunate but I do not question their figures.
It's true that many of the unemployed, many of those forced to ask assistance from their Government, are Negro. But this is not their fault. It is the fault of the advocates and the practitioners of discrimination in employment, who try to force second-class citizenship and third-class jobs on American citizens who are, or ought to be free and equal.
In the 1958 recession, 6.9 percent of all white male workers in the U.S. labor force were without work, but 14.6 percent of the nonwhite male workers were unemployed. The following year, 1959, unemployment eased, with 4.6 percent of the white male working force without jobs, but still 11.5 percent of the nonwhite male workers without work.
Passage of this proposed legislation can do much toward erasing the much hated but too true slogan concerning our Negro work force— "Last Hired; First Fired.”
Your bill can do much also in providing our Negro workers with opportunities for advancement to more desirable and more demanding jobs.
The 1950 census showed that 14 percent of all male white workers held positions as managers, officials, and proprietors of business. The figure for nonwhite male workers was 2 percent. The census showed that 10 percent of male white workers were in professional and technical occupations. Only 3 percent of the nonwhite male workers were.
Among white women workers, 33 percent were in clerical occupations. Only 8 percent of the nonwhite women workers held the same occupations. Only 6 percent of the white female workers were household workers, but 40 percent of the nonwhite women workers were domestics.
There have been no comprehensive studies of discrimination in apprentice training and vocational training, but we do all know it exists. As far as apprenticeships are concerned, the number of Negroes participating in these programs is close to zero. And many Negroes are dissuaded from taking vocational training in a number of fields because realistic counselors know there are no openings for nonwhites in a number of crafts despite training and skills.
Even in the Federal Government we find the lack of opportunity for advancement because of color. A recent survey was made of this situation and when the results are published I think you will find that while the total number of nonwhites employed by our Government is substantial, this group proportionately holds few positions of responsibility and good pay.
These figures, I feel sure, are clearly indicative of the discrimination practiced in schooling and training, in hiring and opportunities for advancement. Your bill is the partial answer to this national disgrace.
Before concluding, I would like to touch upon one other feature of the proposed legislation, and that is section 7, which outlaws discrimination in pay because of sex.
Here I cannot commend too heartily the foresight and courage of the framers of this bill in seeking to destroy one of the chief evils of our industrial society.
Over the years, the IUE has been one of the leaders in the struggle for equal pay for equal work. I am sorry that I cannot report to you more than moderate success. I, along with thousands of other labor leaders have been waiting for years for action on such a measure in the Congress.
I ask you on behalf of millions of women workers whose pay envelopes are thin, not because they are not capable, but solely because of their sex, to take positive action on this measure.
I think I can state without fear of contradiction that this will be one of the more controversial features of the bill. You will be met with almost unbelievable opposition from industrial firms and organizations which have developed their profit patterns on the basis of discriminating against women workers for reason of their sex.
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But I implore you not to abandon this feature of the act. It, along with the rest of the act, has the potential of establishing fairplay and equal treatment for all American workers.
STATEMENT OF DAVID J. MCDONALD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF
In July 1960 the United Steelworkers of America publicly expressed its dissatisfaction with Congress lack of action in the matter of civil rights legislation by appearing before the platform committees of both the Democratic and Republican Parties to condemn this inaction and petition for the inclusion of a strong civil rights plank in the 1960 platforms of both parties.
We believe that the weight of this testimony, as well as that of the equally strong testimony which was submitted by other labor unions and organizations dedicated to civil rights, had much to do with influencing both parties to pledge themselves in varying degrees to the most comprehensive civil rights programs in the history of either party.
It was particularly noteworthy that both platforms directed more than casual interest to the fact that discrimination in employment practices remains one of the principal violations of the rights of over 18 million Negro Americans and a substantial number of other Americans of various ethnic groups. In the light of their recognition of the problem it was hoped that the legislative action which was pledged by both parties would be carried out with all possible speed.
More than 18 months have now passed since this specific type of action was pledged and a new Congress has ended its first session. It is, to put it mildly, disturbing and discouraging that nothing has yet been done to correct the practices of discrimination in employment which are stunting the economic and social welfare of so many of our fellow citizens.
I am sure that many others have presented statistical and sociological testimony to this committee which substantiates the need for early and positive legislative action which will ban these practices.
I am also sure that due recognition has been accorded the salutory work which the newly created President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity is doing. In like manner recognition has been given to the progress which has been made by State and municipal agencies which work in this field.
The United Steelworkers of America pledged its full support and cooperation to the President's Committee shortly after it was created. This was in line with the active part taken by my organization over the years in working for the enactment of the municipal and State laws which have been established during the last 15 years.
However, we are compelled to face the fact that while substantial improvements have been effected by these agencies, the radical changes which are occurring in the physical structure and operation of industry in our country makes it more than ever necessary that we take additional steps. We must set up legal guideposts which will once and for all guarantee all workers and prospective new workers the right to equip themselves for the higher skills and advanced economic welfare which our modern industrial society offers. No stopgap efforts or promises can serve the need which exists today.
Technological changes are taking place with startling rapidity these days and in the process of making these changes workers are being displaced by the thousands. Particularly is this true in the steel industry where employment statistics show that greater and greater production is being accomplished with fewer and fewer workers.
What does this do to the average worker who happens to be a member of a minority group? Employment practices inimical to his welfare have in all too many instances displaced him from lower rated jobs which are eliminated by automation, and prevented him from equipping himself to advance to higher skilled positions.
Apprentice and vocational training programs unilaterally established by management have been closed in the majority of instances to almost all members of certain minority groups. This is particularly true in the craft and technological fields.
A combination of these conditions has placed the members of minority groups in a particularly vulnerable position where a reduction of the work force has taken place or is being contemplated. This, in part, accounts for the fact that å greater percentage of non white workers, per total number employed, are displaced than that representing displaced white workers.
There is no question that this condition will continue to grow unless immediate steps are taken to correct the evils which are at the root of the problem. The most effective way for doing this is to enact legislation which will fully protect the minority group worker and prospective worker against the discriminatory employment practices which have plagued him for so long.
In addition, retraining programs for displaced workers must be made available to minority group workers as part of the basic need for qualifying workers for new jobs.
Further, ways and means must be provided whereby young men and women of high school and college age are encouraged to study courses which will equip them to enter employment of their own choosing with the knowledge that they will not be denied the chance to develop their skills because of any accident of their race, color, religion, or nationality.
The time to act is now. Any further delay or postponement can only serve to compound our past failures. While recognizing the progress that has been made, we of the United Steelworkers of America believe that it is imperative that all the Members of the Congress of the United States rise above individual or partisan attitudes which have heretofore kept some of them from voting for the passage of a Federal fair employment practices law, and enact such law at the earliest possible time. Action not words is the immediate need.
STATEMENT OF UNITED HEBREW TRADES
The United Hebrew Trades, which was formed in 1888 to organize Jewish workers into unions is intimately aware and concerned with the harm caused by discrimination.
Over the past three decades, the United Hebrew Trades together with the Jewish Labor Committee has been working with the organized labor movement and the general community to wipe out discrimination against all minority groups. We have long recognized that in order to achieve equal opportunity for all it is necessary for Congress to enact a Federal fair employment practices law which would prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin.
The experience of the States which have enacted fair employment practice legislation has demonstrated that such laws are effective, if they have adequate enforcement provisions and are properly enforced. However, since employment discrimination is a nationwide problem, it must be treated on a national basis.
As far back as 1883, the U.S. Congress took note of its responsibilities in this area when in the Civil Service Act it banned religious discrimination.
Equality of opportunity has been the beacon light which guided the American people to its greatest achievements and which has drawn to our shores countless thousands of able and hard-working immigrants who contributed mightily to our Nation's wealth.
America's greatest resource is its people, and if certain people are deprived of the opportunity of making their fullest contribution to society because of discrimination, then America is weakened as a result. To deliberately waste the talents of more than one-fifth of the American people is a dubious luxury we can ill afford at this inoment in history when the United States must demonstrate its strength and its adherence to the concept of equality.
Because American industry stretches across the continent and because the State fair employment practices laws vary widely in their effectiveness, it is essential that a Federal fair employment practices law be passed which would extend equal employment opportunities equally across our land. State and municipal legislation have been in effect stopgap measures in anticipation of Federal action. One might also consider them pilot studies demonstrating to the Nation the positive results of such legislation.
A Federal fair employment practices law can benefit from the experience of the 19 States having such legislation which bars discrimination in employment. Studies of the State laws have shown that the few without adequate enforcement provisions have been of little value other than educational.
A Federal Fair Employment Practices Commission established to administer the FEP Act should have the power to initiate investigations, receive complaints, hold hearings, subpena witnesses, issue cease and desist orders and ask court enforcement of its orders.