Lichtenstein's Fictions:
Meany, Reuther and The 1964 Civil Rights Act

Herbert Hill

[from New Politics, vol. 7, no. 1 (new series), whole no. 25, Summer 1998]

Editors' note: Nelson Lichtenstein's rejoinder to this essay and Herbert Hill's rebuttal appear in the next issue of NEW POLITICS Volume VII, No. 2. We invite further comment.

Herbert Hill is Evjue-Bascom Professor of African-American Studies and Insutrial Relations at the University of Wisconsin, Madision. He is the former Labor Secretary of the NAACP and is now writing a study of the legislative history and enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Part I
Labor and the Legal Prohibitions Against Job Discrimination

A MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLES OF THE 1960S was the emergence of a broad national coalition that sponsored the March on Washington of 1963, winning the support of many organizations and reflecting the high point of a brief consensus that was responsible for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Title VII, the law prohibiting employment discrimination. Notable for its absence from the list of participants, or even sponsors and supporters of the march was the AFL-CIO. This was no accident or oversight. The executive council of the AFL-CIO, after extensive discussion and debate, refused to give its endorsement or even to recommend that affiliated unions give their support. The best they could do was to leave it to "individual union determination."

On August 12, 1963, George Meany, President of the AFL-CIO, told a news conference, "AFL-CIO is not endorsing the August 28th March . . . ."1 A. Phillip Randolph and Walter Reuther were the only members of the AFL-CIO executive council who voted against Meany's position and criticized the federation's refusal to endorse the march.2 Some unions, especially those with large black membership such as the United Auto Workers, did however, actively support and participate in the March on Washington.

On the evening of the march, President Kennedy met with representatives of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights including Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and Walter Reuther among others. George Meany had been invited but was absent since he chose not to be in Washington on the day of the march. The group at the White House urged the President to withdraw his opposition to the inclusion of a fair employment statute in the proposed civil rights act. All of the many organizations belonging to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a broad umbrella group engaged in lobbying for anti-discrimination legislation, supported the inclusion of a prohibition against job discrimination.

Although Meany was absent from the meeting with the President, the AFL-CIO sent a memorandum from Andrew Biemiller, its legislative director, to Kenneth O'Donnell of the President's staff expressing support for the inclusion of a fair employment provision in the proposed legislation. After the usual self-serving comments about how labor unions were unfairly blamed for discrimination, Biemiller, joining the other organizations in the Leadership Conference, urged the administration to change its position.3 When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed including a fair employment section known as Title VII, Biemiller "informed" the press that George Meany and the AFL-CIO were responsible for the inclusion of the ban on job discrimination in the statute. Thus a myth was born about Meany's role and that of organized labor in the struggle for Title VII, a myth that is frequently repeated by those who ignore the role of the civil rights movement and of the black leadership, especially Wilkins and Randolph, in this history.

Nelson Lichtenstein in his recent biography of Walter Reuther repeats this fabrication as he writes that, "The trade union movement, both the AFL-CIO and the UAW, was primarily responsible for the addition of FEPC, now rechristened the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to the original Kennedy bill. . . ."4 The many errors of fact and judgment, regarding organized labor and race in Lichtenstein's book are the consequence of his ideological requirement (as will be shown below) to depict labor unions as a progressive social force whatever the facts. In order to do this Lichtenstein has to engage in evasions, half-truths, omissions and misleading "explanations" for labor's record on racial issues.

An examination of the legislative history of Title VII and the conflicts that developed during the struggle for the 1972 amendments to the statute reveals a history of ambivalence, resistance and finally opposition to Title VII by organized labor, a history very different from Lichtenstein's version. To correct his distortions, a detailed history and analysis (although much abbreviated here because of space limitations) of the role of labor unions in the origin and development of Title VII is required.

IN 1963, DURING A PERIOD OF RACIAL CRISIS and widespread civil rights protest activity, the House Judiciary Subcommittee held public hearings on a bill (H.R. 7152) to prohibit employment discrimination. George Meany was one of over a hundred witnesses to appear before the committee, and he urged passage of the pending bill, which lacked provision for a federal agency to enforce the proposed law.5

When Meany was asked what action the AFL-CIO would take against a union that continued to discriminate in violation of the law, he replied, "We operate in a democratic way and we cannot dictate even in a good cause."6 He said that the federation might "keep up the pressure" but that it would not enforce compliance with the statute through sanctions because "this limits their rights, the rights they would normally have as members."7 The AFL-CIO's policy of refusing to implement Title VII contradicted the federation's much-publicized support for the law and served to delay delivery of the statute's benefits to victims of discrimination for long periods. Joseph L. Rauh, who was general counsel for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and one of the chief lobbyists for the Civil Rights Act, explained that the AFL-CIO "had just been so beaten for their racism that they wanted a bill and then they could blame it all on the bill if it wasn't enforced."8

Meany's testimony is also revealing inasmuch as it makes clear that the AFL-CIO leadership was unable to eliminate racial discrimination within the federation's own ranks, not only because they refused to take action on the issue, but also because they failed to understand the nature and widespread extent of racial discrimination. Meany repeatedly emphasized that great progress had been made and that there were only isolated instances of discrimination left within organized labor. Other labor spokesmen often referred to "vestiges of discrimination,"9 and the AFL-CIO acknowledged only "pockets of discrimination."10 *

Labor union discrimination is not the result of a few isolated "pockets" of random, individual acts of bigotry. The denial of equal rights to blacks and other nonwhite workers within organized labor is the result of racist practices institutionalized over many decades. But the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions, in refusing to move systematically against patterns of discrimination, in insisting that each complaint was an ad hoc problem to be treated as an aberration, were in fact able to change little or nothing.

It was symbolic of the AFL-CIO's contradictory relationship to civil rights laws that several months after his Congressional testimony, Meany actively supported the refusal of Local 2 of the Plumbers Union in New York City to admit four black and Puerto Rican workers. Local 2 was Meany's "home local" where he had begun his career as a union business agent and where he remained a member until his death in 1980. When members of Local 2 refused to work on a publicly funded construction project with black and Puerto Rican plumbers, Meany came to New York and announced at a press conference, "They walked off the job and as far as I am concerned, they're going to stay off. . . . Union men don't work with non-union people."11 Meany neglected to observe that the "non-union people" were excluded from membership because his local union did not admit Puerto Ricans and blacks. This union, which had systematically excluded nonwhites for decades, was to become the focus of a drama of great public significance during the 1960s, involving the federal courts, the National Labor Relations Board, civil rights organizations, and state and municipal governments, as it adamantly defied repeated efforts to racially integrate its membership and the labor force in its jurisdiction.12

Lyndon Johnson and the Revised Civil Rights Bill

SOON AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE 1963 SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS, according to Charles and Barbara Whalen in their study of the legislative history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, "Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, speaking for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said he would like to see the bill strengthened. This plea was echoed by James Roosevelt (D. Calif.), son of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt. He urged the subcommittee to adopt the provisions of H. R. 405, a bill establishing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which had been approved earlier in the year by the House Education and Labor Committee. . . ."13

The stronger bill, H. R. 405, was languishing in the House Rules Committee when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. At this critical stage of the legislative struggle for a civil rights act, Randolph and Wilkins were firm in urging President Johnson to incorporate an effective prohibition against job discrimination in the redrafted bill he would send to Congress.14 Randolph who was leader of the campaign during World War II that culminated in Executive Order 8802 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 prohibiting job discrimination by government contractors, organized the National Council For a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee in 1943. Wilkins, at that time assistant secretary of the NAACP, was involved in the activities of Randolph's March on Washington Movement,15 and later as NAACP representative worked with the National Council For a Permanent FEPC.16 For them, this effort in 1963 was the continuation of an old struggle for equal employment opportunity legislation, in contrast to Meany and the American Federation of Labor which had actively opposed such legislation over a period of many years.

In 1944, when a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor held hearings on a pending bill to establish a statutory basis for a permanent fair employment practice commission, the AFL opposed it.17 William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, refused to send a representative to the hearings. The federation, whose secretary-treasurer was George Meany, responded to the Senate subcommittee with a letter from W. C. Hushing, its National Legislative Committee chairman. After some generalities about "the democratic principle to which the labor movement is pledged," the statement expressed the opposition of the AFL to the pending bill:

The executive council does not believe, however, that imposition of any policy, no matter how salutary, through compulsory Government control of freely constituted associations of workers, accords with the basic right of freedom of association among the American people. . . . The executive council takes strong exception to the compulsory imposition upon unions of this or any other policy interfering with the self-government of labor organizations.18

AFL representative Boris Shishkin voiced the federation's policy again in November 1944 at a Howard University conference, "The Postwar Industrial Outlook for Negroes," when he stated that "labor would oppose any regulation of unions, even to prevent discrimination." He added that legislation prohibiting racial and religious discrimination by unions "would open the door to much broader regulations of unions and labor spokesmen could not support it."19 During the postwar period, the AFL continued to oppose federal legislative proposals to prohibit discriminatory practices by labor unions and contributed significantly to the demise of the World War II Fair Employment Practice Committee.* In 1945 the Senate subcommittee had before it two bills proposing a federal fair employment practice law and again the AFL actively contributed to the defeat of the pending legislation.20 Typical of Meany's continuing opposition to fair employment laws was his intervention in 1957 as president of the AFL-CIO on behalf of Local 8 of the Bricklayers Union in Milwaukee.21 In this case, as in many others, the labor federation and the parent body of a local union, instead of seeking to bring an intransigent affiliate into compliance with a state anti-discrimination law, interceded on its behalf and tried to prevent enforcement of the statute.22

In the course of drafting his bill, President Johnson accepted Wilkins' recommendations to create a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with enforcement power that was incorporated into the proposal sent to Congress. This was a significant advance over the version submitted to Congress by President Kennedy which lacked an employment section. Johnson was now determined to secure the enactment of a comprehensive civil rights law including the provision that would become Title VII, and he pressed Meany and the leadership of organized labor to support his revised and expanded civil rights legislative program. On the morning of December 4, 1963, the president met privately with Meany23 and later that day he met with 20 members of the AFL-CIO executive council and forcefully argued that the fundamental interests of the nation required that they support his civil rights bill before Congress. He told the assembled labor leaders, "The endless abrasions of delay, neglect and indifference have rubbed raw the national conscience. We have talked too long. We have done too little and all of it has come too late. You must help me make civil rights in America a reality."24 In the course of later discussions with the president's advisors, Meany and other leaders of organized labor were made ware, at the highest levels of national political power, that failure to give active support to Johnson's civil rights bill would identify the AFL-CIO with blatant southern racism during a period of intense racial conflict and would constitute a most serious defection from the Democratic Party coalition.

The labor federation was willing to support the enactment of a revised and strengthened fair employment bill containing provisions for an agency to enforce the proposed statute, but only if the law was limited to future discriminatory practices and only if it insulated established union seniority systems. The AFL-CIO, as a condition of its support, insisted upon the inclusion of Section 703(h) in Title VII, which they believed would protect union seniority systems with a discriminatory effect, for at least a generation. On April 8, 1964, Senator Joseph S. Clark (Democrat of Pennsylvania) and Senator Clifford P. Case (Republican of New Jersey) introduced into the Congressional Record an "interpretive memorandum" on Title VII of the House-approved H. R. 7152, for which they were floor managers in the Senate. Among other clarifications and explanations defining various provisions of Title VII as a result of amendments and changes in the pending legislation was the statement that "Title VII would have no effect on established seniority rights. Its effect is prospective and not retrospective."25

Their "interpretive memorandum" states: "Title VII would have no effect on seniority rights existing at the time it takes effect. If, for example, a collective bargaining contract provides that in the event of layoffs, those who were hired last must be laid off first, such a provision would not be affected in the least by Title VII. This would be true even where, owing to discrimination prior to the effective date of the title, white workers had more seniority than Negroes."26

This interpretation of Title VII was the result of extensive negotiations between representatives of the AFL-CIO and sponsors of the legislation and was frequently invoked by defendant labor unions in later Title VII litigation. Black interest groups reluctantly refrained from public controversy with the labor federation on this issue because AFL-CIO support at that stage was necessary for enactment of the bill and because it was believed that, once adopted into law, Title VII could be strengthened through amendments later. In 1972 the law was amended and in the course of that legislative effort, sharp public disagreement emerged between civil rights groups and the AFL-CIO, which by then was no longer a supporter of Title VII.

Labor's Limited Conception of Title VII

MANY UNIONS AFFILIATED WITH THE AFL-CIO WERE LESS THAN ENTHUSIASTIC about the proposed legislation and repeatedly resisted compliance with the law after its effective date, July 2, 1965. To assure union members that Title VII would not interfere with union-negotiated seniority structures, the AFL-CIO issued a pamphlet entitled Civil Rights: Fact vs. Fiction. In this publication and in many other statements by officials of the labor federation, it was clearly stated that Title VII would not be retroactive and would not require unions and employers to make changes in "established" seniority systems.27

During the congressional debates on Title VII, the labor federation stated that the proposed law "does not upset seniority rights already obtained by any employee. . . . The AFL-CIO does not believe in righting ancient wrongs by perpetrating new ones. . . . It [Title VII] will take nothing away from the American worker which he has already acquired."28 The Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO, under Reuther's leadership issued a "Legislative Alert" in May of 1964 stating that Title VII "has nothing to do with the day-to-day operation of business firms or unions or with seniority systems."29 An AFL-CIO press release based on an internal memorandum prepared by Andrew Biemiller, the federation's legislative director, concluded with the statement, "In short, the proposed legislation would not alter a union's present substantive obligations under federal law and under the AFL-CIO policy."30

In a letter to Senator Lister Hill released to the press, Reuther wrote, "None of the numerous state FEPC laws and none of the Presidential regulations covering millions of employees, have undermined the rights of organized labor or resulted in the kind of chaos and disruption which you predict as a result of the pending federal law."31 The legislative history of Title VII suggests that many who supported the proposed legislation took state fair employment practice laws as their model, and there is reason to believe that the AFL-CIO leadership, as well as the leadership of the UAW, regarded Title VII as merely a federal version of the largely ineffective state anti-discrimination laws.* During the congressional arguments on Title VII, proponents of the bill repeatedly invoked state fair employment practice acts as the rationale for the proposed federal law.32

Virtually every study of state fair employment practice agencies concluded that they operated on erroneous or inadequate assumptions, were unable to eliminate widespread patterns of job discrimination, and were generally ineffective. In a study of New Jersey's Civil Rights Commission, Alfred W. Blumrosen, professor of law at Rutgers University, wrote that the enforcement procedures of the New Jersey Commission "typified administrative caution and ineptness at every turn; its procedures were incredibly sloppy; it narrowly construed a statute which the courts were prepared to construe broadly; it did not secure relief for the complaints, or for the general class of victims. It was a failure."33 Blumrosen's work confirmed the judgment of a 1964 study of state fair employment practice agencies made by the Labor Department of the NAACP, which reviewed their "dismal" records, and concluded that "the occupational pattern of Negro labor has not been changed in states with FEPC laws." The report argued that basic changes must be made if they were to become effective, and called for "affirmative action based upon pattern centered approaches instead of the individual complaint procedure."34

Given the serious inadequacy of the state laws, it may be assumed that the leaders of organized labor hardly envisioned Title VII as an instrument for major social change. While declaring their support for what later was to become Title VII, the AFL-CIO explicitly argued that the statute should be a federal replica of the typical state fair employment practice law. In his testimony before a congressional committee, George Meany quoted from an AFL-CIO resolution that said, "The fair employment practice law we seek should include the kind of conciliation and enforcement powers that have been tested and proved effective in the 20 states that have already enacted such laws." Meany also requested that the federation's "tabulation of the various state statutes and their provisions. . . be added as an appendix to my testimony."35

Although labor unions, both craft and industrial, had been frequently charged with violating state fair employment practice statutes, organized labor had found that in most instances they could defy such laws with impunity or could engage in long drawn-out legal proceedings that postponed compliance interminably, or perhaps "settle" with a minimal token adjustment by "resolving" the complaint of a single individual while leaving the discriminatory pattern intact. By 1964 union officials had come to believe that FEPC laws posed little or no threat to their traditional practices. This was especially true of the leaders of the industrial unions, who failed to anticipate the impact of Title VII upon all sections of organized labor.

An examination of the history of Title VII makes it very clear that Reuther no more understood the potential of Title VII than Meany did, and that neither anticipated how the law would develop once enacted. As the result of a series of amendments and compromises during the legislative debates, the power to enforce the statute was finally given to federal courts and it was the judiciary that gave life and meaning to Title VII.36 * But this was not what Meany and Reuther intended.

Judicial Enforcement of Title VII and Labor Opposition

IN THE DECADE BEFORE TITLE VII WENT INTO EFFECT ON JULY 2, 1965, the Federation and its affiliated unions had the opportunity to eliminate wide-spread patterns of racial discrimination within labor organizations. They could have taken seriously the complaints filed by black workers and others with anti-discrimination agencies and the reports of civil rights organizations and responded by initiating an effective program of internal reform on racial problems and moving against recalcitrant local unions. But they refused this approach and instead continued to treat the issue merely as a public relations problem. As a result, when Title VII went into effect, labor unions were inundated with lawsuits and repeatedly, over a period of many years, they joined with employers against black workers, often against their own black union members, in an effort to perpetuate discriminatory job practices, even though the federal courts had declared such practices unlawful.

With the increasing judicial enforcement of Title VII, organized labor was transformed from a supporter of the law into an opponent of the law. It must be remembered that the AFL-CIO was willing to support the enactment of Title VII only if the statute insulated established union seniority systems and only if its application were limited to future discriminatory practices. The AFL-CIO, as a condition of its support, insisted upon the inclusion of Section 703(h) in Title VII, which was intended to protect the racial status quo of seniority systems. But the EEOC and the federal courts rejected this view. In its Second Annual Report the commission stated:

A seniority system which has the intent or effect of perpetuating past discrimination is not a bona fide seniority system. . . . The fact that a seniority system is the product of collective bargaining does not compel the conclusion that it is a bona fide system. Seniority systems adopted prior to July 2, 1965 (the effective date of the act) may be found to be discriminatory where the evidence shows that such systems are rooted in practices of discrimination and have the present effect of denying classes of persons protected by the statute equal employment opportunities.37

The AFL-CIO sought an agreement from the commission that, based on its interpretation of Section 703(h), the commission would not assert jurisdiction over seniority issues involving labor unions. On May 5, 1966, William Schnitzler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, and Thomas E. Harris, its general counsel, together with the representatives of several major unions, met with the EEOC to insist that under Section 703(h) the commission must refrain from acting on complaints involving discriminatory job assignment and promotion procedures based on seniority provisions in union contracts. In response, the commission requested that William B. Gould, a professor of law at Wayne State University, conduct a study and formulate a report on the EEOC's legal authority and responsibility on this issue. Gould concluded that "most seniority arrangements locked blacks into segregated job departments and were, therefore, unlawful under the statute." He also commented, "The AFL-CIO policy of not agreeing to implement Title VII serves to postpone the effectuation of the statute's principles. Assertion of the leadership's innocence is simply the first in an arsenal of arguments that the AFL-CIO and its friends put forward to justify union misbehavior."38

As might have been expected from their history, unions in the building trades repeatedly resisted, evaded, and in some instances defied the law, and it is not surprising that the first contempt citation issued by a federal court under Title VII was against a construction labor union, Local 189 of the Plumbers Union in Columbus, Ohio.39 Local 46 of the Lathers Union and Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers, both in New York City,40 were among other construction unions held in contempt after violating agreements with the government to stop their racist practices.

Many industrial as well as craft unions were also defendants in employment discrimination cases under Title VII. Such litigation involved labor organizations in steel manufacturing, papermaking and communications, in the tobacco and maritime industries, in aircraft and automotive manufacturing (both the United Automobile Workers and the International Association of Machinists), in chemical manufacturing and oil refining, in public utilities and the trucking industry, among others. Quite clearly, the leaders of organized labor did not anticipate the extent to which labor unions would come under attack once Title VII went into effect.41

The crucial facts emerging from litigation under Title VII are that, whether as a result of total exclusion by craft unions or as a result of segregated job structures under industrial union contracts, black workers had been removed from competition for jobs reserved exclusively for whites, and that the patterns of racial job segregation had become more rigid under agreements negotiated by industrial unions in many industries.* Numerous industrial union contracts with discriminatory job progression provisions have been used to structure and enforce racial inequality, an issue that has been the subject of extensive litigation since Title VII went into effect.

Labor unions resisted compliance with the law in many ways; by refusing to conciliate valid charges of unlawful discrimination and by violating conciliation agreements and consent decrees, by refusing to comply with Title VII requirements for disclosure of information, by repeatedly defending discriminatory practices even after federal courts had declared such practices to be illegal, and by violating court orders. Furthermore, some labor unions succeeded in delaying delivery of Title VII remedies to women and minority plaintiffs by raising complex challenges of a procedural nature, which often postponed the granting of relief for years. Organized labor's response to Title VII has served in various contexts to limit or to defeat the purposes for which the law was enacted.

The Struggle to Amend Title VII

DURING THE FIRST DECADE OF TITLE VII LITIGATION the AFL-CIO did not hesitate to join with anti-civil rights forces to limit the effectiveness of the law after its adoption. When it became clear during the years 1966-1968 that the private right to sue and the resulting federal court decisions made possible the enforcement of effective legal prohibitions against job discrimination for the first time, organized labor sought to destroy that right.

Since many of the largest and most important labor unions were repeatedly involved as defendants in litigation under Title VII, organized labor found to its dismay that instead of a federal version of the ineffective state fair employment practice laws, Title VII was being interpreted and enforced by federal courts, and these courts were ordering extensive changes in traditional union racial practices. As racial minorities and women began to actively litigate under Title VII, organized labor not only resisted compliance with the law but also opposed new legislative proposals to make it more effective. Beginning in 1966, when bills were first introduced in Congress proposing to amend Title VII by giving the EEOC authority to issue cease-and-desist orders, the AFL-CIO refused to support such measures unless the private right to sue, the major means of enforcing the law, was eliminated from Title VII.

From 1966 to 1968 the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights took no public position on pending legislation to strengthen Title VII because it could not resolve its internal conflict over the private-right-to-sue issue. The NAACP and the other civil rights groups insisted on retaining that right, while the AFL-CIO opposed it. Joseph L. Rauh, counsel for the Leadership Conference, commented on the prolonged struggle:

We realized, certainly by 1966, that the absence of cease-and-desist powers was having a very bad effect on the enforcement of Title VII. Naturally, the simplest remedy was to restore the cease-and-desist powers that Senator Dirksen had removed as the price of enactment of Title VII. In 1966 Congressman Augustus Hawkins of California put in a bill doing just that. Shortly thereafter the AFL-CIO indicated that they would not support the Hawkins Bill unless the private right of suit was removed from Title VII. . . . Jack Greenberg of the Legal Defense Fund, Clarence Mitchell of the NAACP, Tom Harris of the AFL-CIO and I worked out a rather dubious compromise weakening the right of the individual to sue and making some of the other changes requested by the AFL-CIO. But this compromise got nowhere in Congress in 1967. Then in 1968 Greenberg wrote me a letter withdrawing from the compromise agreement and insisting on retaining the undiluted right of private suit. I really had my back to the wall. Both Greenberg and the NAACP insisted on the private right to sue and the AFL-CIO would not support cease-and-desist with the private right to sue in the legislation.42

The Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, an agency that conducted much Title VII litigation, also opposed the AFL-CIO on this issue. The committee urged the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights not to accept any proposal that would "deprive private parties of [the right] to seek redress in the Federal Courts for employment discrimination under Title VII. . . it would be extremely detrimental to progress in equal employment if that avenue of litigation were closed off. . . . If parochial and reactionary AFL-CIO interests stand in the way, we should consider this a scandal and another sign that the labor movement's role in our present history is profoundly harmful."43

From the legislative history, it is evident that organized labor opposed effective enforcement of Title VII. As a result of opposition by the AFL-CIO, the power to issue cease-and-desist orders was not granted and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission remains a crippled agency. However, as a result of the 1972 amendments to Title VII, the EEOC was granted the power to initiate litigation in federal courts against respondents in the private sector, and Title VII coverage was expanded to include employees in the public sector where the attorney general was authorized to litigate. Despite organized labor's opposition, the private right to sue was retained intact in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972.

By the time the amended law went into effect, the AFL-CIO was in open opposition to Title VII. In United States Postal Service v. Aikens,44 for example, a case argued before the Supreme Court, the AFL-CIO joined with the Chamber of Commerce and the Reagan Justice Department in attacking the rights of minority workers under Title VII. The labor federation argued for new stringent standards of proof that would make it more difficult for plaintiffs to prove that they were the victims of discrimination. Although no unions were involved in this case, the AFL-CIO sought to undermine the position of black workers and other minorities seeking legal remedies for job discrimination.

The briefs amicus curiae filed by the AFL-CIO in Boston Firefighters Union v. Boston Chapter, NAACP,45 and in other cases, argued for the elimination of essential Title VII remedies. The retreat of the labor federation was also sharply expressed in its amicus brief in United Airlines, Inc. v. Evans,46 where, according to one veteran labor attorney, "The AFL-CIO went out of its way -- in a case where it was not necessary -- to attack one of the most effective remedies the courts have developed in Title VII litigation, to restore blacks and women to the place they would have held had it not been for discriminatory hiring and promotion practices."47

Mary Jean Tully, president of the National Organization for Women/Legal Defense and Educational Fund, commented, "The brief amicus curiae of the AFL-CIO in Evans is not only an attack on women workers and blacks locked into segregated seniority structures, it is also a repudiation of the fundamental premises of Title VII."48

A 1973 study sponsored by the EEOC to analyze the response of labor unions to Title VII concluded that the agency was able to obtain settlements involving labor union discrimination "in only a small proportion of these cases. Even in cases where the EEOC succeeded in negotiating agreements with the offending unions. . . the settlements often provided inadequate relief to the workers involved or were not adhered to by the unions."49

According to that study of organized labor's response to Title VII:

union rejection of the EEOC's settlement proposals generally meant continued exclusion of blacks. . . . in human terms these are some of the costs of the Commission's failure to achieve compliance: lower earnings, inferior jobs, limited advancement, a higher risk of layoff and discharge for minority workers. . . . The Commission generally failed to execute settlement agreements. . . . Moreover, the failure to execute an agreement was generally associated with the union's refusal to correct the discriminatory practice.50

The 1973 study notes that the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department (CRD) "has not, as the Commission had expected, been a significant force in promoting the Commission's conciliation efforts," concluding that, "the Civil Rights Department intervened in the conciliation of only a negligible number of cases, and its presence had no apparent impact on the conciliation process. Thus the Commission was no more successful in executing agreements where the CRD intervened than when it did not. Similarly, the international unions frequently supported their affiliated locals' rejection of the Commission's settlement proposals."51

Unions in many sectors of the economy had become the institutional expression of white job expectations based upon the systematic subordination of black labor. White workers for generations had taken for granted the prevalence of discriminatory racial norms and bitterly resisted any alteration or deviation. Thus many unions supported the actions of whites against black workers who were challenging discriminatory practices. The extensive record involving unions as defendants in Title VII litigation demonstrates that the compulsion of law was necessary to eliminate the traditional racist practices of numerous labor organizations.

In light of this history, Lichtenstein's account of the legislative development of Title VII is misleading since he gives an inaccurate report of organized labor's role while ignoring the work of Randolph and Wilkins especially during the drafting of Johnson's bill, the bill that became the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and omits any discussion of labor's response to Title VII after it became law.

Lichtenstein writes, "Meany insisted upon an EEOC to give his office a new weapon with which to force integration of literally hundreds of still segregated southern locals."52 But there is no evidence in the 34 years since Title VII was enacted that Meany or the executive council of the AFL-CIO ever took action against affiliated unions that were violating Title VII. Furthermore, Meany's testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on July 26, 1993 directly contradicts Lichtenstein's assertion since Meany made it clear on that occasion that the AFL-CIO had no intention, much less a plan to implement Title VII.53

A major characteristic of this history is the failure of the AFL-CIO and the UAW to initiate change in racial practices, and to voluntarily activate compliance with Title VII as a union responsibility. Instead, there was widespread resistance to compliance by organized labor, and change occurred only as a result of protest actions by black workers and federal court orders.

As we have seen, organized labor moved through a series of changing positions vis-a-vis Title VII; first supporting the proposal before its implications were understood, then insisting upon modifications, then refusing to implement the law after it was enacted and finally opposing and obstructing it after federal courts began to enforce the statute. A close reading of the documentation confirms the conclusion that Lichtenstein's treatment of this history is uninformed and misleading in many crucial aspects.

Part II
Reuther, the UAW and Title VII

LICHTENSTEIN WRITES THAT IN CONTRAST TO MEANY who needed a federal anti-discrimination law ". . . to force the integration of literally hundreds of still segregated southern locals, Reuther did not need such a bludgeon in the far more centralized UAW."54 But the record shows that Reuther and the UAW leadership did not use their power in "the far more centralized UAW" to eliminate traditional patterns of job discrimination in companies where the UAW held union contracts.

Lichtenstein emphasizes Reuther's role in getting Title VII enacted, but fails to discuss his and the union's response to the law after it went into effect. The Reuther leadership did not initiate action under Title VII to eliminate widespread patterns of discrimination in the auto industry. Instead, like most other unions, they resisted making the changes required by Title VII and continued renegotiating the old contracts.

During the congressional debates on the proposed Civil Rights Act, the Fair Practices Department of the UAW conducted a survey to provide the union "with some impressions of the degree of progress being made with respect to the non-white membership."55 This survey was provoked in large part by critical reports regarding the status of black workers in unionized automobile manufacturing plants.

According to data presented at hearings of the United States Commission on Civil Rights in 1960, black workers constituted 0.7 percent of the skilled labor force in Detroit auto plants, while 42.3 percent of the laborers and 18.3 percent of the production workers were black.56 In 1961, the commission, in a survey of black employment in the automotive industry, reported on manufacturing operations in plants where the UAW was the collective bargaining agent:

In Detroit Negroes constituted a substantial proportion -- from 20 to 30 percent -- of the total work force, but their representation in "nontraditional" jobs was slight. . . . In Baltimore, each of the companies employed Negroes only in production work and not above the semiskilled level. . . in Atlanta, the two automobile assembly plants employed no Negroes in assembly operations. Except for one driver of an inside power truck, all Negro employees observed were engaged in janitorial work -- sweeping, mopping, or carrying away trash. Lack of qualified applicants cannot account for the absence of Negroes from automotive assembly jobs in Atlanta.57

A report of the Negro American Labor Council dated November 30,1963, on the racial pattern in UAW plants in several cities provided further documentation and confirmed the conclusion of the commission.58

The union's own report showed that within the UAW, while 12.9 percent of production workers surveyed were non-white, only 1.4 percent of the workers in skilled trades were non-white. Out of 29 states responding to the survey, only 8 had a few non-white apprentices in training, and 20 did not have a single non-white apprentice. Of all workers enrolled in either employee-in-training programs or employee-upgrading programs, 94.5 percent were white. Furthermore, the union's survey found only 54 non-white apprentices out of a total of 1,958 participating in the UAW's joint labor-management training programs.59 The union's Skilled Trades Department, which for years had operated with an unstated but effective policy of excluding non-whites from jobs in its jurisdiction, was known among black workers as "the deep-south of the UAW." William B. Gould, who had been a member of the union's legal staff (now chairman of the National Labor Relations Board), concluded that on the issue of the UAW's racial practices "the late Walter Reuther's rhetoric did not comport with reality. . . ." He reported that, "at the very time of the 1963 March on Washington, of which Reuther was a leader, hardly any black UAW members were to be found in the high-paying and prestigious skilled-trades jobs."60

Despite this record and the increasing discontent of its black membership, the UAW leadership apparently believed that Title VII would have little applicability to their union, which did not engage in the blatant racist practices of the "lily-white" craft unions in the building trades, or maintain racially segregated locals as did, for example, the International Longshoremen's Association. In responding to a proposal from the union's Fair Practices Department that the UAW develop a relationship with anti-discrimination agencies to handle complaints under Title VII, Emil Mazey, secretary-treasurer of the union, wrote, "I don't agree that we ought to waste time meeting with state agencies to work out agreements in view of the fact that we have so few complaints on fair employment practices in plants under our jurisdiction. I believe we can handle each case on an ad hoc basis without the necessity of formal agreements with anyone."61

In the two years after Title VII went into effect on July 2, 1965, the United Auto Workers experienced a 300 percent increase in the number of complaints its members brought to the Fair Practices Department of the union.62 In the first nine years of Title VII, 1,335 formal charges against the union were filed with the EEOC by members of the UAW,63 and throughout the 1970s and since then, the UAW continued to be a defendant in Title VII litigation.

Typical of these cases was the lawsuit black UAW members in Indianapolis filed against General Motors and both the UAW international union and its Local 933, charging the employer and the union with violating Title VII in regard to race and sex discrimination.64 In another case, the EEOC named the UAW as codefendant with the FMS Corporation (John Bean Division), a manufacturer of agricultural equipment in Florida, in a suit charging discrimination "against blacks in recruiting, hiring, race segregated job classifications and departments, discharge, training, promotion, terms and conditions of employment and failure to institute affirmative action programs."65

The UAW had requested that the EEOC delay action on complaints filed by members of the union until after they had first exhausted the union's protracted internal grievance procedure, arguing that its constitution as well as its collective bargaining agreements required that union members file an internal grievance before filing charges with the EEOC.66 In 1969, however, after the commission firmly rejected that argument, on the grounds that it had a legal obligation to proceed forthwith in implementing the law, the union finally eliminated this requirement from its constitution.67

UAW Resistance to Change

LICHTENSTEIN WRITES THAT IN 1960 ". . . the UAW began a more vigorous effort to desegregate southern and border-state UAW organized factories and upgrade black workers out of janitorial ranks."68 Lichtenstein offers no evidence for this statement and in fact, there was no such "vigorous effort." All the data, including the findings of federal courts in Title VII litigation years later, confirm the conclusion that the traditional discriminatory pattern in many UAW plants as described in the 1961 report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights remained intact after Title VII went into effect.

One significant example was the case of United States v. Hayes International Corp., in Birmingham, where a federal appellate court found that under a 1965 UAW contract "black employees performed the lowest paid, unskilled jobs. . . . This condition remained substantially unchanged even after the effective date of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The black employees were segregated in their jobs in a manner which deprived them of the opportunity for advancement that white employees enjoyed."69 In this case as in so many others, the UAW violated its own formal civil rights policy, acting on behalf of whites in maintaining their privileged position in the factories. In 1957 the NAACP, assisting black UAW members, filed charges against Hayes International and the union with federal agencies seeking cancellation of government contracts because of the discriminatory racial pattern. During the eight year period between this action and July 2, 1965, the effective date of Title VII, the UAW, fully aware of the complaints filed, had ample opportunity to eliminate the system of racial job segregation codified in the union contract at Hayes and at other companies. Not only did it fail to do so, but it repeatedly renegotiated union contracts containing discriminatory seniority and job promotion provisions even after the Civil Rights Act became law. The Department of Justice, acting on charges filed by the NAACP on behalf of black workers, initiated a Title VII lawsuit against the employer and the union. Both were found to be in violation of the statute.

The unlawful racial pattern found by the circuit court of appeals in United States v. Hayes International Corp., was not an isolated or unusual condition in manufacturing plants operating under UAW contracts. In 1961 the NAACP filed charges with federal agencies asking that government contracts with the General Motors Corporation be canceled because the corporation's racial employment practices in Atlanta, Kansas City and elsewhere violated federal executive order prohibiting employment discrimination. This was a continuation of previous actions taken by the Association involving General Motors operations in St. Louis where systemic discriminatory practices had been under attack by local civil rights groups for many years.

In 1957, in a memorandum to the director of the UAW General Motors Department, the NAACP described the racial employment pattern at General Motors' extensive manufacturing facilities in St. Louis, which had been operating under UAW contracts for many years. Black workers were employed "exclusively in menial jobs such as porter, sweeper and material handler. . . . Investigation at the Chevrolet Division reveals that Negro workers are permitted to work exclusively in three departments. . . . White workers hold seniority rights in operations which permit promotion and the development of skills in a significant number of job classifications."70 The memorandum pointed out the consequences of "the Non-Interchangeable Occupational Group Seniority Plan" in the agreement between the UAW and the Chevrolet-St. Louis Division of the General Motors Corporation, "This seniority problem as it is enforced constitutes in essence a separate line of progression for white and Negro workers. . . . The solution is to be found in an arrangement whereby employees could have both horizontal and vertical job mobility. This could probably be best obtained by the operations of a plant-wide seniority agreement."71 After the NAACP filed complaints with the federal government against General Motors and the UAW seeking contract cancellation, the company and the union promoted a small number of black workers into some few job classifications formerly reserved for whites, but the discriminatory seniority structure remained intact.72 Compliance review reports from federal agencies revealed that the racial employment pattern at Ford plants organized by the UAW were similar to the pattern described here at General Motors facilities.73

In January 1962 a congressional committee heard testimony on the need for fair employment practices legislation from the author who, at that time, was Labor Secretary of the NAACP. In the course of that testimony I reported that in "General Motors plants in Atlanta, Memphis and Doraville, Georgia, and Ford Motor Company plants in Atlanta, Memphis, Norfolk and Dallas. . . Negroes are exclusively employed as sweepers, janitors or toilet attendants. . . The Fisher Body plant of the General Motors Corporation in Atlanta is totally 'lily-white' and plant security guards prevent Negroes from even entering the hiring office to file applications for employment. The United Auto Workers holds union contracts at each of these plants."74

Later in 1962 an eight page memorandum from the UAW Fair Practices Department to Reuther revealed that the UAW leadership was fully aware of the discriminatory seniority provisions in its collective bargaining agreements covering General Motors plants in Atlanta and elsewhere, but its major concern was that public exposure would embarrass the UAW. The memorandum stated that "the contract language. . . constitutes a glaring inequity and could cause embarrassment to the Union as well as the Corporation in the present climate." It acknowledges that black employees did not have the same departmental rights "as set forth in the local Seniority Agreement for white employees."75

What is significant in this history is that in the years between 1957, when the effort to obtain cancellation of government contracts in the auto industry was begun, and 1965, when Title VII went into effect, the UAW continued to negotiate contracts that were blatantly discriminatory. This practice continued after 1965, even though such contracts were in clear violation of the law. This was also the crucial period when black auto workers would no longer accept the shoddy compromises of the past and a new black militancy emerged in the UAW.*

Not a word about how the UAW negotiated contracts that perpetuated discriminatory practices in violation of Title VII is to be found in Lichtenstein's book. It was not that he did not have this information, on the contrary, as an intrepid researcher he knew all of this and more. He also knew that in order to make his rationalizations and excuses for Reuther's record on race seem credible, it was necessary to omit much relevant material. On June 18 and 19, 1987, the author was interviewed by Lichtenstein in Madison, Wisconsin. These two days and nights of intense discussion were followed by meetings in Washington, D. C. and an exchange of correspondence over a six year period.76 Extensive files were made available to Lichtenstein who xeroxed massive quantities of primary documentation including NAACP reports to government agencies regarding racial employment patterns in UAW-organized plants, correspondence with black auto workers and with union officials and company representatives, reports from the EEOC and other government agencies on Title VII litigation in the auto industry and much more.

Of special relevance were the files containing detailed information on the status of black workers in specific UAW-organized plants such as General Motors in St. Louis, together with the union's response to requests for help from minority workers. With the exception of some background information, not a word of this material found its way into Lichtenstein's book.* Furthermore, he demonstrated a complete disregard for accuracy when he wrote that "Hill's 1961 NAACP report, 'Racism Within Organized Labor: A Report of Five Years of the AFL-CIO' included a blistering exposure of institutionalized discrimination in the industrial unions, especially the ILGWU. . . ."77 But there is no such criticism, "blistering" or otherwise of the ILGWU in the report, on the contrary, the only mention of that union is complimentary, describing how, with the assistance of the Association, it integrated its Atlanta units. This report was originally published in 1961 as an NAACP document and later reprinted in The Journal of Negro Education.78 (It should be noted that at his request a copy of the original document was made for Lichtenstein.)

Lichtenstein, while acknowledging discrimination in the UAW does not, with but two exceptions, discuss the response of the Reuther leadership to racist practices by local unions although they were widespread. His selection is interesting and deserves examination. According to Lichtenstein, in 1945, Reuther ". . . had flown to Atlanta to demand that Fisher Body Local 34 admit black sweepers to membership and upgrade them to production jobs," and that after "a packed meeting that lasted five hours. . . 120 black sweepers were formally enrolled in the local, but none won production jobs."79

What Lichtenstein fails to mention is that 30 years later, with but one exception, blacks employed at this plant were still janitors, locked in a labor classification in the union contract that limited them to work only as janitors, with no possibility of promotion into jobs reserved exclusively for whites.80 Furthermore, this was the pattern in many UAW organized plants in the South and border states.*

Lichtenstein writes that in 1960, ". . . the UAW executive board finally took decisive action against the segregationists in control of the Memphis Harvester Local. Local 988 was put into an administratorship."81 The UAW leadership acted on internal racial problems only after they had become crisis situations, or when Reuther was publicly embarrassed by exposure of the UAW's responsibility for discriminatory treatment of its non-white members. A highly publicized and potentially very damaging series of events occurred in 1960 when Local 988 in Memphis defied the Reuther leadership and insisted on maintaining segregated facilities in the union headquarters. After much delay and repeated protests from black workers, the UAW suspended its officers and placed the local union under trusteeship.82 This was a rare action in the UAW, not to be repeated again in a racial context.

In the UAW, local unions were disciplined for violating organizational policy on a variety of issues, especially "unauthorized" work stoppages, but not when the most blatant violations of the union's formal anti-discrimination policy occurred. The message was widely understood throughout the UAW: that the union's civil rights stance could be violated with impunity and that regional directors were never challenged by the Reuther leadership on this issue. It is therefore interesting to note that Lichtenstein describes the rare exception in the union's history while ignoring the many other circumstances where it failed to act. Here, as in other instances, Lichtenstein works from the exception and ignores the pattern.

The enactment of Title VII and the innovative interpretation and enforcement of the law by federal courts after 1965, together with the emergence of militant black protest movements within the UAW, provided Reuther with a great opportunity. He could have demanded that corporations comply with Title VII and that broad compliance by employers would become part of the union's bargaining demands. He could have told his regional directors and white union members that a major change was taking place and that the UAW would no longer be a party to discriminatory racial practices. Reuther could have informed minority workers and women that the UAW welcomed the new law and that the union would file Title VII complaints against employers on their behalf with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Title VII is not self-enforcing. An aggrieved worker must first file a complaint to set the administrative process in motion.) Reuther could have made the UAW the champion of Title VII within the labor movement and used the law to attack the old patterns of institutionalized discrimination wherever the UAW represented workers.

But he did none of these. Lichtenstein informs the reader that Reuther "made an impassioned plea" for FEPC legislation,83 but he does not tell the reader that once the law was passed, Reuther did nothing to make it effective; on the contrary, the UAW together with other labor unions resisted change. When Reuther finally had the opportunity to directly alter the racial employment pattern in auto manufacturing and in other industries where the UAW held contracts, he failed to attack the racial status quo where it mattered greatly, and where he had the power to do so.

Lichtenstein's Reuther: A Failure of Perspective

THE FAILURE OF LICHTENSTEIN'S PERSPECTIVE ON REUTHER IS EXPRESSED in many ways including his treatment of the union leader and money. Lichtenstein reminds the reader with some frequency of Reuther's financial support for civil rights causes as proof of his devotion to the movement. For example, on page 316 he writes that the UAW "contributed more funds to the national NAACP than did all other trade unions combined,"* and on page 370 he tells the reader that ". . . the UAW had put more money and muscle behind the civil rights revolution than had any other trade union." On page 394, Lichtenstein writes that "Reuther reminded Martin Luther King of how much money the UAW had provided his organization."

It is a matter of some sadness that at this late date in our history, Lichtenstein does not understand the implications of Reuther's use of union money. George Lipsitz has addressed this issue with insight and because of its importance what he says deserves to be quoted here in extenso:

I know that defenders of the AFL-CIO will point to their support for civil rights legislation as proof that they fought for social justice rather than for social peace. But when one looks closely at their role in the civil rights movement a different picture emerges. Walter Reuther paid for the sound system for the 1963 March on Washington, but then used his influence to censor John Lewis's speech. Social democrats like Joseph Rauh and Allard Lowenstein channeled civil rights workers within the Democratic Party, urging acceptance of the decision to seat the segregationist Mississippi delegation at the 1964 convention instead of the integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic party. In these instances and others, union leaders tried to do with the civil rights movement what they had done with the labor insurgencies of the thirties and forties -- take power away from the rank and file and delegate power to leaders making deals with corporations and political parties. In both cases, in my judgment, the rank and file lost far more than it gained.84

Lichtenstein does not share Lipsitz's view. On the contrary, he repeatedly emphasizes labor union financial support for civil rights activities without understanding its consequences. It is evident that a major ideological purpose of Lichtenstein's book is to "prove," that despite some limitations, on the whole, organized labor fulfilled its innate socially progressive role in the struggle for racial justice. This position, to which Lichtenstein is committed, not only prevents him from giving a balanced, accurate account of labor's response to black struggles, but also prevents him from examining this important subject in a disciplined, scholarly manner, free of the need to justify an ideological position. This is a major failing of Lichtenstein's book.

For Reuther and the other UAW leaders, blacks in the union had always been a "troublesome presence," but after a new black militancy emerged in the UAW as in the rest of society in the 1960s, Reuther found that the bureaucratic power he had used in the pas to control black discontent no longer worked. His efforts to control all activity critical of the union by black workers and their allies in the civil rights movement, were increasingly ineffective, as witness his futile attempts to control the work of the NAACP Labor Department.85 For Reuther, the need to control movements of black workers was essential to prevent blacks from becoming an independent political force within the UAW and to insure that they engaged only in "acceptable" activity that would not unduly disturb whites in Reuther's support base. When he could not be in control he became resentful and fearful of black groups and vigorously opposed their activities.

Lichtenstein acknowledges that during the 1940s "Privately and sometimes in public, Reuther questioned whether any blacks were 'qualified' to fill high UAW posts,"86 and in 1959, Reuther condescendingly told black unionists protesting "the lily-white character of their own international executive board,"87 that "There will come a time when a Negro will be qualified and. . . at such a time a Negro will be placed on the board."88 In 1962 when Reuther finally found it necessary to place a black on the executive board, he chose not one of the highly qualified candidates, but a bureaucrat of limited competence, Nelson Jack Edwards, who would be a safe token black member. In retrospect it is evident that much of the public image of the UAW as an example of interracial unionism was based on its support for civil rights causes far removed from the factories where its members worked and far from the union itself.

Lichtenstein has not written a critical study of Reuther whom he perceives as a working-class visionary struggling mightily against powerful corporations. Although he acknowledges that Reuther had some defects, he minimizes them and frequently supplies a dubious defense. Lichtenstein's basic explanation for Reuther's behavior, as when he admits that the UAW, in refusing to integrate its executive board, by 1959 lagged behind other industrial unions, is that "On this issue as on so many others, Reuther had become a prisoner of the institution he did so much to construct."89 Lichtenstein offers this impoverished formulation as a catch-all excuse for Reuther's deplorable positions on racial and other issues and he fails to acknowledge that Reuther had options and made choices, such as his decision to support the war in Vietnam * (Emil Mazey, Secretary-Treasurer of the UAW, publicly and vigorously denounced the war), or when he chose to be a shameless toady for Lyndon Johnson at the 1964 Democratic Party Convention, or when he told veteran black unionists that as a racial group they were not qualified to be members of the union's executive board. The list of such choices is long; they were Reuther's decisions and in the accounting of history they are his responsibility. He built his own cages and chose to remain in them.

Lichtenstein has produced an informative narrative about Reuther's early years, including the period he worked as a machinist in the Soviet Union that readers will find of interest, but he has failed to provide an understanding of a career that might have told us much about the nature of radical movements, labor unions and civil rights struggles in our time. Students of labor and civil rights history will have to wait for the accurate and rigorously analytic study of Reuther and the UAW that has yet to appear.


* After his testimony, Meany sent a letter to James Roosevelt, chairman of the congressional subcommittee, in which he wrote "We strongly urge you not to include a prohibition of discrimination based on sex in the proposed equal employment opportunities bill." Meany requested that his letter also be made part of the record of his testimony. Equal Employment Opportunity, Hearings Before the Special Subcommittee on Labor of the Committee on Education and Labor, United Stats House of Representatives on Proposed Federal Legislation to Prohibit Discrimination in Employment, 87th Congress, 2d Session, Part 2, pp. 1007-8. Statement of George Meany, January 24, 1962. return


* In contrast to the AFL, the CIO during this period supported proposals for FEPC legislation. In 1943 James B. Carey, Secretary-Treasurer of the CIO representing its president Philip Murray, testified before a congressional committee urging adoption of a bill to make the federal Fair Employment Practice Committee a permanent government agency. In 1945, George L. P. Weaver, Director of the CIO's Committee to Abolish Discrimination, appeared before a Senate subcommittee in support of a similar proposal. For a discussion of this history together with testimony excerpts see Herbert Hill, Black Labor and the American Legal System (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), pp. 374-377. return


* Organized labor shared the belief of the congressional supporters of Title VII that it would apply mainly to southern states, which lacked laws prohibiting job discrimination. According to Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Democrat of Minnesota, who participated in the drafting of the proposed law and was a vigorous floor manager of the bill, "The experience in the states with fair employment practice laws indicates that such informal employment practice laws are the most effective means of bringing about compliance. . . ." He argued that the proposed law would "impose no substantial new obligation on states that already have a law" (statement of Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Congressional Record--Senate, March 30, 1964, pp. 6548-51). return


* Given the apparent weaknesses of the statute, the strong anti-discrimination decisions which emerged in the first decade of Title VII litigation are surprising only if the significant changes in the perception of the courts on racial matters which developed after Brown v. Board of Education are ignored. The malicious effort to prevent Title VII from being effective by denying the EEOC enforcement powers turned out to be of significant benefit. Instead of an inexperienced commission of timid bureaucrats appointed for short terms and subject to political and budgetary pressures from hostile congressional committees and private interest groups, it was federal judges who made the basic rulings enforcing Title VII. return


* A typical example is United States v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., a case involving the United Steelworkers of America in the Buffalo, New York area, where according to a federal court: "The pervasiveness and longevity of the overt discriminatory hiring and job assignment practices, admitted by Bethlehem and the unions, compel the conclusion that the present seniority and transfer provisions were based on past discriminatory classifications. . . . Job assignment practices were reprehensible. Over 80 percent of black workers were placed in eleven departments which contained the hotter and dirtier jobs in the plant. Blacks were excluded from higher paying and cleaner jobs." The court observed that discriminatory contract provisions were embodied in nationwide master agreements negotiated by the Steelworkers Union in 1962, 1965, and 1968. The court also stated: "The Lackawanna plant was a microcosm of classic job discrimination in the north, making clear why Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." 446 F. 2d 652, 655, (2nd Cir. 1971). return


* For information on the history of black caucus activity within the UAW see transcripts of oral history interviews with caucus leaders conducted by Herbert Hill with Joseph Billups, October 27, 1967; Hodges Mason, November 28, 1967; Shelton Tappes, October 27, 1967, and February 10, 1968; Robert Battle, March 19, 1968; George Crockett, Jr., March 2, 1968, and Horace Sheffield, July 24, 1968 (Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit). For studies of black protest within the UAW see James A. Geschwender, Class, Race and Worker Insurgency (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977); Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1975); Herbert Hill, "Black Dissent in Organized Labor," in Seasons of Rebellion--Protest and Radicalism in Recent America, ed. J. Boskin and R. Rosenstone (New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972), pp. 55-80; William B. Gould, "Black Power in the Unions: The Impact upon Collective Bargaining Relations," Yale Law Journal 79.1 (November 1969), pp. 46-84. return


* Lichtenstein in an apologetic letter to the author dated October 11, 1994, refers to a "self-inflicted wound, involving writer s block, a sense of intellectual inadequacy, etc." He also writes, "I do owe you an enormous intellectual debt. . . . After probing your memory and taking advantage of your files and hospitality. . . . I have found my overall approach heavily influenced by our conversations and your subsequent comments on my work." (Nelson Lichtenstein to Herbert Hill, October 11, 1994, original in author's files.) return


* Discriminatory practices were not limited to UAW-organized plants in the South. Ten years after Title VII went into effect, the EEOC found that black auto workers in the Detroit area were still concentrated in lower level jobs and that the traditional racial pattern remained largely intact. (Employment Analysis Report Program, 1975 EEO-1, Report Summary by Industry Within SMSA's, Detroit, Michigan, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington, D. C.) return


* Lichtenstein s statement is technically correct but somewhat misleading since labor contributions to the NAACP were negligible. When George Meany threatened to cut off financial support in the early sixties because of the Association's labor activities, Roy Wilkins responded "What support?" This information was given to Lichtenstein in detail. (Herbert Hill to Nelson Lichtenstein, December 19, 1989, copy in author's files.) In all the years Reuther had been a member of the NAACP Board of Directors he never attended a meeting and in 1966 a group of young emerging leaders, as part of their effort to reform the organization, challenged the reelection of all non-attending Board members including Reuther. Lichtenstein writes that "Reuther felt entirely vindicated when his name came in at the very top of the NAACP ballot." (p. 412) Lichtenstein is being disingenuous, as he knows that Reuther's reelection was virtually bought and paid for. Unlimited sums of money were spent on his reelection and a well-organized campaign using UAW staff was involved. It should be remembered, that contrary to the impression given by Lichtenstein, election to the Board at that time was not by popular vote of the Association's membership but was limited to regional leadership and sitting members of the Board. Given the circumstances, it would be surprising if Reuther had not been reelected. return


* It should be noted that in the months before his death in 1970, Reuther belatedly changed his position and called for an end to military action and for a negotiated peace in Vietnam.return


  1. Quoted in "AFL-CIO Adopts Hands Off Policy on Washington Civil Rights Demonstration," Daily Labor Report, August 13, 1963, Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, D.C., p. A ll. return

  2. John D. Pomfret, "AFL-CIO Aloof on Capital March," The New York Times, August 14, 1963, p. 21. return

  3. Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era (New York, Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 82. return

  4. Nelson Lichtenstein, The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit, Walter Reuther and the Fate of American Labor (New York, Basic Books, 1995), pp. 387-388. return

  5. Civil Rights, Hearing Before Subcommittee No. 5, House Committee on the Judiciary, 88th Congress, 1st Session, serials 1-4, July 26, 1963 (Statement of George Meany). return

  6. Ibid., p. 1791. return

  7. Ibid., p. 1792. return

  8. Quoted in Helene Slessarev, "Organized Labor and the Civil Rights Movement in the Fight for Employment Policy," paper delivered at the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 3-7, 1987, p. 5. return

  9. Bayard Rustin, "Blacks and Unions," Harpers Magazine, May 1971, p. 80. return

  10. See the Civil Rights Resolution adopted by the Eighth AFL-CIO Convention, October, 1969 (Publication No. 8F; Washington, D. C., 1969). return

  11. Quoted in the New York Post, May 16, 1964, p. 3. return

  12. See Official Report of Proceedings before the Trial Examiner of the National Labor Relations Board, Local Union No. 2 of the United Association, AFL-CIO and Astrove Plumbing and Heating Corp. (Case No. 2-CB4024); NLRB v. Local 2 of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of United States and Canada, AFL-CIO, 360 F.2d 428 (2d Cir. 1966). See also The New York Times, May 1, 1964, p. 3; "The White Supremacy Plumbers," editorial, New York Post, May 3, 1964, p. 32, and The New York Times, May 2, 1964, p. 1. For a detailed history and discussion see Herbert Hill, "The New York City Terminal Market Controversy: A Case Study of Race, Labor and Power," Humanities in Society 6.4 (Fall 1983), pp. 351-91 (Reprint No. 255, Industrial Relations Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison). This case involved the Bronx Terminal Market Construction project. return

  13. Charles Whalen and Barbara Whalen, The Longest Debate: A Legislative History of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, (Cabin John, MD, Seven Locks Press, 1985), p. 22. return

  14. Author's Interview with Roy Wilkins, February 2, 1973, New York, New York, and interview with Joseph L. Rauh, January 4, 1973, Washington, D. C. return

  15. Herbert Garfinkel, When Negroes March, (New York, Free Press, 1959), erroneously interpreted as hostile the response of the NAACP to Randolph and the March on Washington Movement of 1941. Later research has corrected Garfinkel's interpretation. See John H. Bracey Jr. and August Meier, "Allies or Adversaries?: The NAACP, A. Philip Randolph and the 1941 March on Washington," The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Spring 1991, pp. 1-17. return

  16. Records of the National Council For a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Committee are to be found in the NAACP Papers, Group II, Boxes A 351, 353 and 186, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. return

  17. Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor, United States Senate, S. 2048 -- A Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Employment Because of Race, Creed, Color, National Origin or Ancestry, 78th Congress, 2d Session, August 30, 31 and September 6, 7, 8, 1944. return

  18. Ibid., pp. 194-95. return

  19. Quoted in Michigan Chronicle, November 11, 1944, p. 1. return

  20. Hearings Before a Subcommittee on Education and Labor, United States Senate, S. 10 -- A Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Employment Because of Race, Color, National Origin or Ancestry, and S 459 -- A Bill to Establish a Fair Employment Practice Commission and the Aid in Eliminating Discrimination in Employment because of Race, Creed or Color, 79th Congress, 1st Session, March 12, 13, 14, 1945. return

  21. Ross v. Ebert, 275 Wis. 223 (1975). At issue was the refusal of the Milwaukee Bricklayers Union, Local 8, to admit two fully qualified black workers in defiance of the state Fair Employment Practices Law. This conflict which came before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin received national attention and resulted in the legislature amending the statue. return

  22. Letter from George Meany, President, AFL-CIO to Virginia Huebner, Fair Employment Practices Division, April 26, 1957, (Industrial Commission of Wisconsin, Case Files 1945-1974, Series 1744, Box 4, Folder 16, Manuscript Division, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison), and letter from William R. Conners, 5th Vice President, Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers International Union, to Reuben G. Knutson, Industrial Commissioner, State of Wisconsin, January 25, 1954 (Fair Employment Practices Division, Industrial Commission of Wisconsin, Case Files 1945-1974, Box 4, Folder 16, Manuscript Division, SHSW, Madison). return

  23. Supra, note 13, pp. 82-83. return

  24. Ibid. return

  25. 110 Congressional Record, p. 7213 (1964). return

  26. Ibid., p. 7207. return

  27. AFL-CIO, Civil Fiction (Washington, D. C., 1964). return

  28. AFL-CIO Department of Legislation, "AFL-CIO Comments on Lister Hill's Criticisms," January 31, 1964, Department of Legislation Files, Box 009, Folder 13, George Meany Memorial Archives, Silver Spring, MD. return

  29. AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department, "Legislative Alert," May 1964, Washington, D. C. return

  30. AFL-CIO Press Release, January 31, 1964, Washington, D. C. return

  31. Walter P. Reuther, Reply to Senator Lister Hill, February 11, 1964, Box 90, Folder 12, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. return

  32. See for example statement of Senator Leverett Saltonstall (Republican of Massachusetts) 110 Congressional Record, pp. 14, 191 (1964), reported in United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Legislative History of Title VII (Washington, D. C., n. d.) p. 3311. See also statement of Congressman Ogden R. Reid (Democrat of New York), 110 Congressional Record, p. 1635 (1964), reported in EEOC, Legislative History of Title VII, p. 3346. return

  33. Alfred W. Blumrosen, Black Employment and the Law, (New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press, 1971), pp. 53-54. return

  34. Herbert Hill, "Twenty Years of State Fair Employment Practice Commissions: A Critical Analysis with Recommendations," Buffalo Law Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, Fall 1964, pp. 22-69. Among other studies that reached similar conclusions were: Robert A. Girard and Louis L. Jaffe, "Some General Observations on Administration of State Fair Employment Practice Laws," Buffalo Law Review 14.1 (Fall 1964), pp. 114-20; Michael A. Bamberger and Nathan Lewin, "The Right to Equal Treatment: Administrative Enforcement of Antidiscrimination Legislation," Harvard Law Review 74.2 (1961), pp. 526, 531; Leon H. Mayhew, Law and Equal Opportunity, A Study of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968), pp. 294, ii; and J. P. Witherspoon, "Civil Rights Policy in the Federal System: Proposals for a Better Use of Administrative Process," Yale Law Journal 74.7 (1965), pp. 1171-92. return

  35. Equal Employment Opportunity, Hearings Before the Special Subcommittee on Labor of the Committee on Education and Labor, United States House of Representatives, on Proposed Federal Legislation to Prohibit Discrimination in Employment, 87th Congress, 2d Session, Part 2, pp. 986-87, Statement of George Meany, January 24, 1962. return

  36. The literature on Title VII is extensive. For information on the origin and development of the law and how it was interpreted and defined by federal courts see, Legislative History of Title VII and XI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, EEOC, 1966, Legislative History of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, U.S. Senate, 1972, Herbert Hill, "The New Judicial Perception of Employment Discrimination: Litigation Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," Colorado Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, March 1972, pp. 243-268, Herbert Hill, "The Equal Employment Opportunity Acts of 1964 and 1972: A Critical Analysis of the Legislative History and Administration of the Law," Industrial Relations Law Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1977, pp. 1-96, Herbert Hill, "The National Labor Relations Act and the Emergence of Civil Rights Law: A New Priority in Federal Labor Policy," Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 1976, pp. 299-360, Alfred W. Blumrosen, Modern Law, The Law Transmission System and Equal Employment Opportunity (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1993). return

  37. United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Second Annual Report (Washington, D. C., 1968), pp. 43-44. return

  38. William B. Gould, Black Workers in White Unions (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1977), pp. 72, 21. return

  39. EEOC v. United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of United States and Canada, Local Union No. 189, 311 F. Supp. 464 (S. D. Ohio, 1970). return

  40. United States v. Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers International Union, Local Union 46, 328 F. Supp. 429 (S. D. New York, 1971), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 939 (1973), and EEOC v. Local 638 . . . Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers' Association and Local 28 Joint Apprenticeship Committee, 565 F. 2d 32 (2d Cir. 1972). return

  41. The literature on the racial practices of labor unions is extensive. Among these are W. E. B. DuBois, The Negro Artisan (Atlanta, University Press, 1902), Charles H. Wesley, Negro Labor in the United States (New York, Vanguard, 1927), Sterling D. Spero and Abram L. Harris, The Black Worker (New York, Columbia University Press, 1931), Herbert R. Northrup, Organized Labor and the Negro (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1944), The Negro and the American Labor Movement, edited by Julius Jacobson (Garden City, Anchor Books, 1968), Philip S. Foner, Organized Labor and the Black Worker (New York Praeger, 1974), William B. Gould, Black Workers in White Unions (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1977) and Herbert Hill, Black Labor and the American Legal System, (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1985). return

  42. Author's interview with Joseph L. Rauh, January 4, 1973, Washington, D. C. return

  43. Henry Schwarzschild, executive director, Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee. Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU Inc., to Joseph Rauh, general counsel, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, March 11, 1968 (copy in author's files). return

  44. 460 U.S. 711 (1983). Brief amicus curiae of the AFL-CIO. return

  45. 679 F. 2d 965 (1st Cir. 1982). Brief amicus curiae of the AFL-CIO. return

  46. 431 U.S. 553 (1977). Brief amicus curiae of the AFL-CIO. return

  47. Interview by author with Ruth Weyand, associate general counsel, International Union of Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers, AFL-CIO, March 3, 1977, Washington, D.C. return

  48. Statement of Mary Jean Tully, president, National Organization of Women/Legal Defense and Educational Fund, March 8, 1977, New York. return

  49. Benjamin W. Wolkinson, Blacks, Unions and the EEOC: A Study of Administrative Futility (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1971) p. XV. return

  50. Ibid., pp. 94-95. return

  51. Ibid., p. 142. return

  52. Lichtenstein, pp. 387-388. return

  53. Supra, Note 5. return

  54. Lichtenstein, p. 388. return

  55. Memorandum from William H. Oliver to Walter P. Reuther, "UAW Fair Practices Survey -- 1963," January 16, 1964, Box 90, Folder 12, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. return

  56. Hearings Before the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Detroit, MI, December 14-15, 1960 (Washington, D. C., 1961), p. 87. return

  57. United States Commission on Civil Rights, Employment, Report No. 3 (Washington, D. C., 1961), p. 65. return

  58. Report of the Negro American Labor Council, November 30, 1963. Data given in Herman D. Bloch, The Circle of Discrimination (New York: New York University Press, 1969), p. 53. return

  59. See Note 55, above. The survey purports to have results from 29 states, but tabulates them for only 28. return

  60. William B. Gould, Black Workers in White Unions (Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1979), pp. 21, 371-372. For much relevant information not in Lichtenstein's book together with an informed discussion of the discriminatory pattern in UAW-organized plants see Kevin Boyle, The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism: 1945-1968 (Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1995), especially pp. 123-131, and pp. 162-167. return

  61. Memorandum from Emil Mazey to William H. Oliver, March 9, 1966, Box 90, Folder 14, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. return

  62. Memorandum from William H. Oliver to Walter P. Reuther, December 30, 1968, Box 91, Folder 9, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. See also Minutes of UAW National Advisory Council on Anti-Discrimination, Detroit, MI, June 27-28, 1969 (copy in author's files). return

  63. UAW Fair Practices and Anti-Discrimination Department, Twenty-seven Years of Civil Rights: 1947-1974. (Detroit, MI, May 1976), p. 205 (copy in author's files). return

  64. Movement for Opportunity and Equality v. General Motors Corp., Detroit Diesel Allison Division; United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, International Union, Local 933, CA No. 1P 73-C-412 (D. C. S. Ind. Indianapolis Division, August 23, 1973). return

  65. Report of Atlanta Regional Litigation Center, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC News (Washington, D. C., July 11, 1975), p. 8. return

  66. Memorandum from William H. Oliver to Walter P. Reuther, "Proposed Procedures for Handling of Title VII Cases," April 1, 1969, Box 91, Folder 12, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. return

  67. UAW Administrative Letter, Vol. 22, March 19, 1970, Letter No. 6. See also memorandum from William H. Oliver to Irving Bluestone, March 15, 1966, Box 92, Folder 9, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. return

  68. Lichtenstein, p. 378. return

  69. United States v. Hayes International Corp., 415 F. 2d 1038 (5th Cir. 1969). Among the relevant documents in this case are: letter from Jacob Seidenberg, Executive Director, President's Committee on Government Contracts, to Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary, NAACP, July 2, 1959, re: Investigation of Hayes Aircraft Birmingham; letter from Irving Bluestone, Administrative Assistant to Leonard Woodcock, Vice President, UAW, to Herbert Hill, August 4, 1957, re: Hayes Aircraft Corp.; letter from Jacob Seidenberg to Frank Hunter, October 19, 1959, re: Complaint filed against Hayes Aircraft Corp., (copies in author's files). return

  70. Memorandum from Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary, NAACP, to Leonard Woodcock, Director, General Motors Department, UAW, June 3, 1957, re: "Status of Negro Workers, General Motor Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri" (copy in author's files). return

  71. Ibid. return

  72. Letter from William H. Oliver, Co-Director, Fair Practices Department, UAW, to Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary, NAACP, December 31, 1957, and letter from Leonard Woodcock to Herbert Hill, January 31, 1958 (copies in author's files). return

  73. Memorandum from Jacob Seidenberg, Executive Director, President's Committee on Government Contracts, Subject: "Compliance Review Reports, Ford Assembly Plants, Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, Kansas City, Norfolk-Portsmouth, and Long Beach, California," April 22, 1957 (copy in author's files). return

  74. Equal Employment Opportunity, Hearings Before the Special Subcommittee on Labor of the Committee on Education and Labor, United States House of Representatives, on Proposed Federal Legislation to Prohibit Discrimination in Employment, 87th Congress, 2d Session, Part 2, p. 720 (statement of Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary, NAACP, January 15, 1962). return

  75. Memorandum from William H. Oliver to Walter P. Reuther, November 1, 1962, Box 90, Folder 10, Reuther Collection; also William H. Oliver to Leonard Woodcock, "Suggested Proposals for the Elimination of Practices of Promotional Discrimination in GM Southern Plants," July 6, 1961, Box 102, Folder 6, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. return

  76. The correspondence includes Lichtenstein to Hill, December 22, 1988, Hill to Lichtenstein, December 19, 1989, Hill to Lichtenstein, December 30, 1990, Lichtenstein to Hill, October 11, 1994, Hill to Lichtenstein, October 27, 1994 (originals and copies in author's files). return

  77. Lichtenstein, p. 379. return

  78. Herbert Hill, "Racism Within Organized Labor: A Report of Five Years of the AFL-CIO, 1955-1960," NAACP, New York, 1961, reprinted The Journal of Negro Education, Spring, 1961, pp. 109-118. return

  79. Lichtenstein, p. 373. return

  80. Information from Atlanta Regional Litigation Center, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. return

  81. Lichtenstein, p. 378. return

  82. UAW International Executive Board Minutes, January 19, 1960, pp. 257-67, transcript in Box 22, UAW Region 9A Collection, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; Paul Molloy, "UAW Local, Detroit Clash on Race Issue," Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 3, 1956; Clark Porteous, "International Takes Over Local 988," Memphis Press Scimitar, February 10, 1960; "Statement to all members of Local 988 UAW" from the Board of Administration, Pat Greathouse, Chairman, Vice President, UAW, Robert Johnson, International Executive Board member, UAW, Douglas Fraser, International Executive Board member, UAW, May 2, 1960; "Statement to all members of Local 988, UAW, from the Board of Administration," June 3, 1960; letter from John L. Holcombe, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Management Reports, United States Department of Labor, to Walter P. Reuther, President, International Unions, UAW-CIO, May 23, 1960, together with substance of action by the Bureau dismissing complaint filed against trusteeship imposed upon Local 988; letter from William J. Beckham, Administrative Assistant to the President, UAW, to Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary, NAACP, July 25, 1960; interviews by author with George Holloway, member of shop committee, Local 988, UAW in Memphis, May 26, 1961, in Atlantic City, March 21, 1964, and in Baltimore, November 3, 1967; interviews by author with Carl Shier, International Representative, UAW, member of National Harvester Council-UAW, in Chicago, November 27, 1966 (copies in author's files). return

  83. Lichtenstein, p. 382. return

  84. George Lipsitz, Rainbow At Midnight, Labor and Culture in the 1940s (Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1994), p. 347. return

  85. A partial record of the history of this matter is found in the following: letter from William H. Oliver, Co-Director, Fair Practices and Anti-Discrimination Department, UAW, to Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary, NAACP, March 12, 1957, Box 503, Folder 27, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; letter from William H. Oliver to Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary, NAACP, June 3, 1959, Box 503, Folder 27, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs; letter from Roy Wilkins to William H. Oliver, June 19, 1959, Box 503, Folder 27, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs; letter from William H. Oliver to Walter P. Reuther, November 1, 1962, Box 90, Folder 10, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs; letter from Walter P. Reuther to Louis Stulberg, General Secretary-Treasurer, ILGWU, October 26, 1962, Box 504, Folder 1, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs; letter from David Dubinsky, President, ILGWU to Walter P. Reuther, October 26, 1962, Box 504, Folder 1, Reuther Collection, Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs. return

  86. Lichtenstein, p. 210. return

  87. Lichtenstein, p. 376. return

  88. Lichtenstein, p. 378. return

  89. Lichtenstein, p. 375. return

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