Constructing Affirmative Action, 1970–1973

David Hamilton Golland

in Constructing Affirmative Action

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813129976
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135472 | DOI:
Constructing Affirmative Action, 1970–1973

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A Puerto Rican and two African American trained steamfitters were rejected when they applied for “A Branch” journeyman membership. Since the union did not want to refer them to work, the Mechanical Contractors' Association's (MCA) members all denied them jobs. The steamfitters of Local #629 had two grades — “A Branch” that encompassed specialized construction jobs and the “B Grade” that accounted for maintenance work. After an investigation pursued by the New York City Human Rights Commission, the A Branch hired its first black worker in 1967. While the Nixon administration only furthered the Philadelphia Plan for political purposes, this chapter reveals how Nixon neglected this support after gaining more power. The plan, however, survived and was able to integrate skilled construction unions successfully. Ultimately, employment discrimination persisted in skilled trades because of industry changes.

Keywords: skilled trade; industry changes; Philadelphia Plan; Nixon administration; employment discrimination

Chapter.  11147 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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