Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Solely as a practical question, as an administrative issue, in terms of the empirical considerations, we are opposed to throwing it in and giving it to an agency that has a variety of other responsibilities, because we think that both groups, both those who are the victims of employment discrimination because of race, creed, color and national origin and those who are the victims of employment discrimination because of their age, require the most intense and specialized services possible. We do not think that either group is going to get it in the establishment of a commission that deals with everything:

Now, we say this solely on the basis of analyzing the administrative experience of the State commissions that have this responsibility now.

I work with many of these State agencies. This is just an added difficulty. It becomes an afterthought. They do not have sufficient staff, sufficient personnel, and those which they do have do not have the special training required for work in this field.

I want to make it very clear that we are for aid to those who are the victims of discrimination because of age. But we do not want it thrown into this general FEPC bill and given to the Commission that we hope will result from such a bill, because it would greatly limit the ability of an agency to function on the basic question.

We think the Commission should concentrate. We think there should be a narrower area of coverage, so that the agency, the Commission, could concentrate and bring to bear all of its efforts in terms of this very serious problem. And similarly, another agency should deal with old-age problems as a separate question elsewhere. And this is being done today in many State operations.

Mr. PUCINSKI. I do not want to prolong this. There are two other questions, and Mr. Smith has some questions.

I regret to tell you I just do not agree with your position. I think that the problems, the specialized problems, that you have mentioned here are just as inherent in determining when you have discrimination because of religious background, ethnic background, color background, race background, as for age.

And if you are going to have a meaningful bill, if you are going to honestly and sincerely try to establish criteria in America to eliminate discrimination in hiring practices, I do not see how you can exclude this very horrible problem in this country today of an American worker beyond 40 not being able to get a job unless he has a highly specialized skill.

So I do not agree with you. But I will now yield to my colleague from Iowa, so that he can proceed with his questioning.

Mr. DENT. Mr. Smith?
Mr. SMITH. No questions.

Mr. DENT. Thank you very kindly, Mr. Hill, for coming here this morning and giving us the benefit of your observations and your knowledge on this subject. I am sure that the committee will feel free to call upon you again, and I know that you will cooperate.

Mr. HILL. Thank you, sir.

Mr. DENT. Now we would like to have Dr. Herman Long, director of the Race Relations Department of Fisk University.

Dr. Long, you have a rather lengthy formal presentation. It would be helpful to the committee if you could submit it in toto and yet give us in a summarization the contents of it; so that it will allow some time for questioning.

STATEMENT OF DR. HERMAN H. LONG, DIRECTOR, RACE RELATIONS

DEPARTMENT, BOARD FOR HOMELAND MINISTRIES, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, FISK UNIVERSITY, NASHVILLE, TENN.

Dr. Long. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had intended doing that.

I have placed on about three cards the substance of what I want te discuss with the committee; and I will allow, as you suggest, the entire statement, the total statement, to be filed for the record.

Mr. DENT. It will go into the record at this time.
The prepared statement of Dr. Long follows:)

TESTIMONY BY DR. HERMAN H. LONG, DIRECTOR, RACE RELATIONS DEPARTMENT,

BOARD FOR HOMELAND MINISTRIES, UNITED CHURCH OF CIIRIST; FISK UNIVERSITY, NASHVILLE, TENN.

PATTERNS OF NEGRO USE IN SELECTED SOUTHERN INDUSTRIES

Discrimination is a selective process which may be initiated and sustained by a variety of policies, assumptions, motivations, and established rules of operation and procedure. I believe this committee to be concerned with group discrimination, whatever may be the causal and sustaining factors, which places persons of a given group identification-race, religion, sex, or nationality—at categorical disadvantage in competing for opportunity and livelihood in the American economic system. Insofar as it is concerned with either the negative effects of such practice upon individuals or the full use of economic nad human resources, its considerations bear upon the basic question of public policy in a freely competitive democratic society. But even more, to the extent that such discrimination is real and substantial-in fact and in substance--the task at hand is that of shaping an effective national policy in national legislation and of providing useful implementing vehicles in furtherance of that policy.

The considerations which I bring to this hearing are in the direction of establishing the fact of job discrimination against the Negro worker as revealed in the established selective and operating practices of industry. I shall not deal with the why, the causes, or the attitudes, although I am personally convinced that group discrimination in any form is a great moral wrong, social perhaps more than personal; and although I speak out of the context of the work in race relations of one of the major religious denominations of this country—the Congregational Christian Churches (now the United Church of Christ)—which is based upon the firm religious conviction that racial and group discrimination is an injustice and a denial of fundamental Christian principle. I might add parenthetically that this program has been in existence for 20 years, that it is located at one of the country's most important university centers, and that it has produced numerous studies of discrimination in American cities and among adjuncts of both labor and industry.

The testimony I offer seeks to detail for the Special Subcommittee on Labor the nature and extent of job discrimination revealed in the practices of southern industrial plants. It is based upon a survey of 372 industrial firms located in 4 Southern States-Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee—done in the spring and summer of 1961. A related coverage was also made of the employment practices of 248 State administrative agencies in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and some reference will be made to these findings as well. The central focus in this effort was upon practices of employment and upgrading affecting the Negro worker. All of the firms covered were engaged in some form of production on contract agreement with the Federal Government. In Kentucky the survey findings are based upon 36 percent of all Government contracting firms in the State; in South Carolina and Tennessee, 40 percent; and in North Carolina, 57 percent.

Two qualifying observations are called for at this point. One is that all of the firms covered were Federal Government contractors, and the likelihood is that they represent a more liberal pattern of practice in regard to the Negro

1 Undertaken under the direction of Mr. John Hope II, director of industrial relations for the race relations department (now of the President's Committee on Equal Employ. ment Opportunity staff) as a service to and in a consultant relationship with the civil rights advisory committees of these States.

worker that might be found among noncontracting firms which have no sanctions against racial discrimination pressing upon them from Federal or other sources. What is reported here, therefore, should be weighed as representing the better southern industrial situations, with great probability that the wider pattern of use is even less favorable.

The other is that although the firms studied are southern in location, no implication is either intended or sought in their selection insofar as comparisons with other sections of the country are concerned. They are important in their own right as suggesting the character of practices of private industry toward the Negro work force in the Southern States involved. However, in the light of considerations of national nondiscrimination policy and legislation in this field, it should be emphasized that in these and other States of this region there is no State sanction to either protect or extend the enjoyment of equal rights and opportunities for Negroes or other so-called minorities under the demand of public interest and welfare.

While the experience cited here is limited in terms of the types of industry (Federal contractors) and the number of private industrial firms covered in these States, it bears special significance for the considerations of this committee because it deals with the current situation of Negro employment practices as reported directly by industrial firms themselves. There has been, by and large, a regrettable lack of research seeking to give objective presentation of the Negro employment situation, especially in southern localities. The present effort, limited though it may be, stands almost alone as a benchmark of the current vastly uncultivated field.

II

What, then, do these studies show as to the character of employment practice affecting the opportunities of Negro workers? In summary, the answer lies in the direction of both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of employment practice. The former raises the criterion of the sheer number of Negro workers who have managed to find their way into industrial jobs, regardless of the types of jobs involved, in any degree approaching even such crude standards as their proportion in the State work force or the State population. The latter concerns the equally important matters of occupational use and upgradingconsiderations which, in other words, relate to the extent to which the Negro worker has access to the full range of industrial job opportunity in the employment of his skills, abilities, and aspirations.

(1) With respect to the quantitative factor-sheer representation in and access to industrial jobs—the Negro worker is at a clear disadvantage as revealed by the experience of these firms. The 372 firms covered reported a total employee force of 88,727 workers. Of this number, the Negro employee force amounted to 12,509, or approximately 14 percent of the total. At the same time, the Negro population in the four States involved, taken as a whole, averaged to about 21 percent.

But it is more meaningful to look at the figures for each segment of industrial firms represented in the separate coverages :

[blocks in formation]

(2) In three of the four segments of private industrial firms in the respective States, representation of Negroes in the work force is below Negro population percentage. In the South Carolina and North Carolina private firms the differentials are substantial. Only in the Tennessee group of firms does the proportion of Negroes in the work force exceed the gross standard of State Negro population percentage.

(3) As to the number of firms employing Negro workers, better than one out of four (27 percent) had no Negro employees at all. A high 40 percent of the firms in Kentucky did not have Negro workers, with Tennessee falling second with 32 percent of its firms. North Carolina and South Carolina firms both had 20 percent of their industrial establishments without Negro workers. In view of the fact that these are all plants which have Federal Government contracts, the expectation would be 100 percent representation of at least some Negro workers. One can say in this respect that the range of Negro work opportunity, as expressed in terms of representation, is restricted by from a fifth to 40 percent of the potential in these southern private firms.

(4) And as might be expected from these quantitative trends, the average size of the Negro work force reflected similar differentials. In slightly more than a third of the Tennessee firms, the number of Negro employees was five or less persons. Of the South Carolina establishments, 37 percent had less than 10 Negro workers; and in North Carolina, where the total work force averaged 363 employees, the average number of Negro workers was only about 20.

(5) Finally in this regard, the most serious disparity in these practices is reflected in the case of the Negro female industrial worker. In the entire work force of the Kentucky firms only 14 Negro women could be accounted for. For the North Carolina firms, only 3.5 percent had some Negro workers while 76 percent had some white female employees. In South Carolina, the corresponding proportions were : 17 percent of the firms with some Negro women as against 80 percent of firms with white women workers.

Current experience regarding the qualitative aspects of employment practice toward the Negro worker in private industrial firms is similarly discriminatory. The most salient consideration here is that even with limited and restricted access to industrial work opportunity, the Negro worker has the additional handicap of not finding access to better jobs, fuller use of his potential skills, and better paying positions. This is then, to borrow a rough legal analogy reference, a matter of “double jeopardy.” In practical terms, however, it points up the cumulative nature of racially discriminatory employment practices over the full range of experience from recruitment, hiring, and job placement, to training, transfer, upgrading, and promotion. Having somewhat miraculously negotiated the hurdle of getting inside the industrial work opportunity, the Negro employee finds himself in a dead end with nowhere to go.

(1) The dominant and consistent pattern of Negro use in these firms was the heavy concentration of Negroes in the unskilled and service jobs. In performances classified as "skilled" among the Tennessee firms, 61 percent of the firms had white employees in such jobs as compared with only 32 percent having at least one Negro worker. Corresponding proportions of firms reporting a similar pattern of practice for Negro workers in the other State samples were: Kentucky, only 25 percent; North Carolina and South Carolina, approximately 4 out of every 10 firms.

(2) Practices at the upper end of the occupation scale are represented by the case of the South Carolina firms which had no Negro employees in technical and professional jobs. In about 5 percent of the firms, some Negro workers were used in supervisory functions. North Carolina had a like proportion of firms with Negro supervisory workers, although, somewhat better than locations in its bordering State, a few Negro technical and professional workers were present, as reported in the experience of 2.8 percent of the firms.

(3) The pattern of upgrading practices in these industries toward the Negro worker assumed a similarly restrictive character. In North Carolina's 149 firms with more than 7,000 Negro employees 58 percent of the plants had not upgraded a single Negro worker in recent experience; the related proportion in Tennessee was 50 percent; in South Carolina, 44 percent; and in Kentucky, 66 percent. Although the opposite instance of some upgrading of Negro workers appears high, the seemingly favorable trend is substantially qualified by the fact that extremely small numbers of Negro employees are involved. The North Carolina report indicates that in the case of some 39 firms which had done Negro upgrading, only an average of two or three workers were involved. In South Carolina the modal number of Negro workers upgraded was only 4 among 24 firms taking such action. These experiences warrant the conclusion that on the whole the upgrading of Negro workers has been negligible.

(4) All of these matters hinge insignificant degree upon the industrial firms actively involved in recruiting workers, either in terms of adding to their production force or locating the scarce commodity of technical, engineering, and managerial personnel. Almost without exception, the uniform experience of these firms was that they were not engaged in recruiting production workers; by and large their work force had reached maximum size. In many instances, sizable groups of workers were on layoff who had first claim on new openings and opportunities for higher jobs. This avenue for altering the existing pattern of Negro use, therefore, was largely closed for the present.

(5) Effort did exist, however, to find specialists and technical workers of various sorts. Some recruitment was done, accordingly, among the colleges, engineering, and technical schools of the State and region. But in almost no instance was a Negro institution of this type, either State or private, used as a regular basis of contact, promotion, and recruitment. This is, obviously, a serious lag in active effort to establish new patterns of Negro worker use, for these institutions constitute the largest single source of trained and able Negro young people.

(6) Lastly, the means through which workers are usually added to the work force of these firms is important in assessment of the discrimination pattern. For all of the 372 firms reporting the most frequently mentioned avenues were, in this order: (a) friends and relatives of present employees; (b) workers coming on their own to the gate or employment office of the firm ; and (c) referrals from the State employment services. This pattern, it may be summarily observed, constitutes in effect a built-in procedure whereby the existing character of the employed work force and its use remains the same. It closes, in other words, the vicious cycle of restrictive practice in which the Negro worker is caught in the industrial situation.

A special word should be added about the State employment services as one of the important avenues of access to industrial jobs. In practically all States of the southern region, including those with the industrial firms covered in this report, the physical arrangements of State employment agencies and the procedures for filling job applications and job orders, by and large, follow a pattern of racial segregation. Not only are racially specified job orders received and processed, but orders which have no racial specification, particularly if they are in the nontraditional higher occupational performances, rarely if ever get before the Negro job applicant or even to the separate oilices, where such exist, handling the major load of Negro jobseekers. In the background of the broadly racially selective and discriminatory industrial practices which have been cited here, this is the capstone of the train of practice affecting opportunity for the Negro citizen. In this case, not only is State action a party to the unfortunate and inequitable effect, but Federal action as well, insofar as this situation in federally subsidized State employment services remains uncorrected.

III

A brief report of the racial practices of the public agencies in the three Southern States covered should also be given, primarily because it helps to complete the larger picture of Negro employment opportunity. Studies were done in three States with the following totals for the number of agencies and the number of workers :

[blocks in formation]

No estimate was made of the total number of State agency Negro employees in Tennessee, but in the case of West Virginia and North Carolina somewhat opposite pictures emerge. In the former case, the number of Negro employees exceeds the State Negro population percentage, and in the latter the number falls substantially below. At the same time, a higher proportion of Negro workers in North Carolina have found their way into State agency employment than in West Virginia.

In respect to the number of agencies using Negro workers, the pattern of restricted range of use which obtained among the private industrial firms is evident. This matter is of equal, if not greater, importance than mere numbers of Negro employees found in the agencies, inasmuch as the more liberal use of

« AnteriorContinuar »