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and the various international unions have repeatedly refused to take action. Instead, the federation has, in all too many cases, waited years to acknowledge and investigate complaints by Negro workers and, often enough, has neglected to act altogether.
As long as union membership remains a condition of employment in the building and printing trades, on the railroads and elsewhere, and qualified Negroes are barred from union membership solely because of their color, then trade union discrimination is the decisive factor in determining whether Negro workers in a given industry shall have an opportunity to earn a living for themselves and their families. This is especially true in the construction industry, where AFL-CIO building trades unions exercise a high degree of control over access to employment.
AFL-CIO affiliated unions engage in four categories of discriminatory racial practices. These are: outright exclusion of Negroes, segregated locals, separate racial seniority lines in collective bargaining agreements, and exclusion of Negroes from apprenticeship training programs controlled by unions.
Today, in every large urban center in the United States, Negro workers are denied employment in the major industrial and residential construction projects because they are with some few exceptions barred from membership in the building trades craft unions. These include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Operating Engineers, Iron & Structural Steel Workers, Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Union, Plasterers & Lathers, the Sheet Metal Workers Union, the Roofers, the Boilermakers, and others. Since the National Labor Relations Board has done little to enforce the anticlosed-shop provision of the Taft-Hartley Act, building trades unions are therefore, in most instances, closed unions operating closed shops.
The exclusion of Negroes from membership in a building trades union or limiting their membership to an all-Negro unit means in practice that qualified Negro construction workers will be denied access to the union-controlled hiring hall and, therefore, will be denied employment opportunities in the well-paid craft jobs in both public and private construction projects.
Those Negroes who belong to segregated locals often find themselves completely excluded from the major construction projects as most contractors use the hiring halls controlled by the white locals as the basic source for labor recruitment. This is especially true in Federal construction projects, and here the Federal Government bears a direct responsibility for not insisting that building contractors operating with U.S. Government funds bypass the “lily white” union-controlled hiring halls and instead pursue a policy of recruitment from the open labor market based on skill and ability rather than that of race and color. The power of building trades unions to operate such hiring halls and to maintain a very high degree of job control clearly derives from the National Labor Relations Act and it is evident that protections for the Negro worker must be added to the law in the very near future.
Quite frequently, Negroes are excluded altogether from work in white neighborhoods. This means that Negro carpenters, for example, are restricted to marginal maintenance and repair work within the Negro community and that they seldom are permitted to work on the larger industrial and residential construction projects. The same practices are true for other building trades unions in many cities throughout the country.
Local 26 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, D.C., is a typical example of how union power is used to completely exclude Negro workers from securing employment in vast Federal construction projects. For many years qualified Negro workers have been attempting to secure admission into local 26, which controls all hiring for electrical installation work in the Nation's Capital. They have filed complaints with the President's Committee on Government Contracts which over 4 years ago brought this matter to the attention of the National AFL-CIO.
As a concession to pressure from Government agencies and to protests from Negro civil rights organizations, one Negro electrician was reluctantly permitted by the union to work in a Government installation on a temporary basis. On January 1, 1961, there were still no Negroes admitted into membership in local 26 in the Nation's Capital.
In addition to the segregated locals which I have already cited I should like to indicate the following: The Brotherhood of Railway & Steamship Clerks, which maintains segregated local lodges in northern cities as well as in the South, is among the important international unions in which a broad national pattern of segregation still obtains. In this union the existence of more than 150 all-Negro locals with separate racial seniority rosters limits job mobility and violates the seniority rights of thousands of Negro railway workers. In Chicago, for example, Negro workers are in segregated local lodge 6132 and in Tulsa, Okla., they are in local lodge 6257. In East St. Louis, there are 14 all-colored lodges and 14 all-white lodges which function through segregated joint councils. This is the pattern in most cities of the North as well as in the South. It is ironic to note that the president of the Brotherhood of Railway & Steamship Clerks, George M. Harrison, is a member of the Civil Rights Committee of the XFLCIO and a federal vice president.
This is typical in many ways of what goes on in other areas of the country.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Mr. Hill, may I interrupt you, there, for just a moment?
Is it not true that one Negro electrician was admitted, after considerable publicity, due to the last complaint before the Commission, similar to the present Commission, under the previous administration; and while it received lots of publicity, it does not seem to have broken the so-called dam at all. Is that correct?
Mr. Hill. That is quite true. I very carefully checked on this, sir, while preparing my testimony, and I find that this one Negro was not admitted into membership, sir, into local 26. He was given a temporary work permit. Ile was given a temporary work permit which permitted him to work on a specific job. He worked on it a matter of weeks, I understand, but he was not admitted into membership in the union, and the membership's union remains lily white. There are no Negroes admitted into local 26.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has long been a supporter of democratic trade unionism and we believe that a strong, free labor movement based upon concepts of social justice and industrial democracy is very desirable in American society. We believe that Negro wage earners especially require a militant labor movement for the purpose of securing joli equality but all too frequently organized labor acts to deny Negro workers this job equality and enters into collusive practices with management to codify discriminatory employment practices into collective bargaining agreements. Therefore, we believe that it is absolutely essential for trade unions to be fully included in the coverage of any national fair employment practices law.
Discrimination against minority groups in employment has been is subject of increasing public concern over the past 20 years.
Numerous Government agencies, Federal, State, and municipal, have been established for the purpose of combating job discrimination. More than 30 such agencies are functioning at the present time, including a Federal agency concerned with employment discrimination in the Federal Government and by private contractors holding Gorernment contracts. There are State bodies in 21 Northern, border areas, and Western States and municipal bodies in seven major cities and several smaller ones. Because racial discrimination in employment is clearly contrary to the public interest, it is generally recognized that it is subject to control of law by virtue of two fundamental considerations. First, that discriminatory employment practices violate a basic individual right of American citizens and, secondly, that employment discrimination interferes with the effective utilization of the Nation's manpower resources. Most State fair employment practices laws invoke the individual rights principle in prohibiting employment discrimination. The preamble of Executive Order 10925 establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity includes both principles with equal emphasis.
In our opinion there are two basic questions before this congressional committee. Would a national fair employment practices law be more effective than State and municipal fair employment practices laws in achieving maximum progress toward the full equality of employment opportunity for all the American people and at the same time create significant improvement in the utilization of minority group manpower? And, No. 2, should the emphasis of a Federal fair employment practices commission be upon the processing and resolution of individual complaints or upon assuming; on its own initiative, affirmative action based on company and industrywide patterns of employment discrimination?
It is our considered opinion that the dual objectives of significantly reducing employment discrimination and simultaneously improving manpower utilization throughout the American economy can be achieved more rapidly and efiectively under an all-embracing national fair employment practices law than under a variety of State and municipal statutes. A basic characteristic of American private enterprise is that it is organized predominantly on a national rather than on a State or local basis. Most of the major business enterprises in manufacturing, transportation, public utilities, mining, construction, retail trade, finance and service are national or multiregional in scope and usually have operations in many sections of the country. This basic organizational feature of American industry and business must have an important bearing on the effective administration of fair employment practices laws, especially since major policy
decisions in these enterprises are nearly always made at the national headquarters' level. Significant changes in employment practices through agency intervention can be achieved most effectively if negotiation is with national management in terms of all of its multiplant
a In the study entitled "Employing the Negro in American Industry"
, by Norgren, Webster, Borgeson, and Patten, published in 1959 under the sponsorship of Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc., it is reported that virtually every instance where Negroes were integrated into the work force of industrial plants, it required a basic policy decision by top national management and that in several instances such decisions were carefully programed in detail at the national management level. This study concludes that if the matter of eliminating employment discrimination had been left to the local managements in the North as well as in the South, no attempt would have been made to racially integrate the work force in these plants.
In addition, I wish to point out that all of the State and municipal fair employment practices laws are confined to the North and West. There are none in the South and only two in border States, but it is precisely in the areas not covered by such State or municipal laws that more than three-fifths of America's Negro workers reside. There is absolutely no prospect that the Southern States will enact any fair employment practices laws for many years to come.
An objective analysis of the accomplishments of State and municipal fair employment practices agencies clearly indicates that those commissions that secure compliance on the basis of total employment patterns of minority groups are far more effective than those agencies whose work is based upon individual random complaint and adjustment activity. The contrast between civil rights agencies that are simply complaint-taking bureaus with agencies that are authorized to initiate investigation and compliance procedures based upon the overall pattern of minority group employment is enormous. This opinion is corroborated by many of the country's ablest and most experienced authorities in public administration and civil rights law; therefore it is most important that in any national legislation to prohibit discrimination in employment, pattern-centered compliance and enforcement activities should be made the primary function of the administering agency. We know that in practice only a very small fraction of all individuals who are the victims of employment discrimination because of race or religion ever file complaints with civil rights agencies, either municipal, State, or Federal; therefore, in terms of the realities of eliminating discriminatory employment practices, the fundamental approach must be toward the initiation of allirmative action based upon the overall pattern of employment discrimination.
One of the serious weaknesses in the operation of many municipal and State fair employment practices commissions is that they are limited to functioning as complaint-taking agencies. If these State and municipal laws under which these agencies operate were amended to permit compliance activities to be concentrated on employment patterns, these commissions would be able to conduct their compliance efforts more efficiently and effectively. If this were the case, there would be far greater results in the reduction of discriminatory employment practices than is possible under the present preoccupation with isolated random individual complaints.
Major emphasis on pattern-centered compliance activities is even more essential in a national fair employment practices law. If such a law is to be effective, it must authorize the Federal Commission established under the law to conduct employment-pattern surveys on the basis of entire industries in order to determine the extent and nature of existing employment discrimination and to clearly identify those industries and corporations responsible for discriminatory employment practices. The Federal Commission could then initiate compliance activity based upon its own investigations and analyses.
I would like to say that at a later date the NAACP will submit a more detailed analysis of this and other provisions, in a desire to be helpful to the subcommittee, of the bill now under consideration.
Negroes now constitute a very large part of the hard-core permanently unemployed group in American society. In northern industrial centers one of every three Negro workers was unemployed sometime during 1961, and a very high proportion exhausted all of their unemployment compensation benefits.
During the past 3 years the rate of Negro unemployment was 212 times greater than the comparable rate for white workers. In some major industrial centers the rate of Negro unemployment during 1961 was even greater, as in Detroit, where the Negro constitutes 19.5 percent of the total work force but 61 percent of the total unemployment rate; in Chicago, the Negro constitutes 14.7 percent of the work force but 44 percent of the unemployed; or in Philadelphia, where the Negro is 13 percent of the work force but represents 54 percent of total unemployment.
As a result of automation and other technological changes in the economy, unskilled and semiskilled job occupations are disappearing at the rate of 35,000 a week, or nearly 2 million a year. These figures are based upon Bureau of Labor statistics estimates. It is precisely in these job classifications that there has been a disproportionate concentration and displacement of Negro workers. At the present time the economic well-being of the entire Negro community is directly and adversely affected by the generations of enforced overconcentration of Negro wage earners in the unskilled and marginal sectors of the industrial economy.
A continuation of this pattern will cause even greater crises in the years to come unless fundamental and rapid changes take place in the character, mobility, and diversity of Negro labor in the United States. Some important employment gains made during the wartime economic expansion and in the immediate postwar period, especially in heavy industry, have in many instances been all but totally wiped out. In the North as well as in the South there is a direct relationship between poverty and discrimination and the Federal Government must intervene to eliminate both of these related evils which endanger the American society.
The dual considerations of securing employment opportunities and of achieving the most effective utilization of the Nation's manpower supply must be recorded as among the most vital and urgent needs of the American community. Surely there are few other questions that so directly relate to the welfare of our citizens as well as to the country's place in a world where industrial power is a decisive factor. Both political parties have recognized this in principle. The Republican