New Crack Down: Gov't. Quietly Launches Sharp National Drive to Open Craft Unions to Blacks
Riesel sends AF a draft of his forthcoming (11/27) column. In it, he reports on the OFCC activities nationwide to desegregate the skilled unions. "In the vanguard [comes] the administration's most angry man, big Art Fletcher, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Wage and Labor Standards. Mr. Fletcher is black and frank in his fury over what he considers discrimination against black workers by the nation's -- indeed, the world's -- highest paying industry, building and construction." "...in Seattle, the government also got tough at the demand of Art Fletcher. He had been angered by demonstrations of white skilled craftsmen. He was furious over their massed protest to Governor Dan Evans over new black apprentice plans and by the walkout of white building and construction unionists when black trainees showed up on the job sites." Goes on to cover the "restless truce in the two other crisis sectors -- Pittsburgh and Chicago." Notes Ted Kheel's explanation for the skilled white building workers' vociferous reactions: there is no seniority in the building trades; when a job is done, every journeyman, no matter how long a journeyman, goes back to the hiring hall to wait his turn. More journeymen means longer waits between jobs.