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And the final witness?
Mr. HAWKINS. That is fine. You will then lead off, Mr. Ball, with your statement.
Mr. BALL. All right.
STATEMENT OF EDDIE BALL, EMPLOYEE, ROCKWELL INTERNA
TIONAL, ACCOMPANIED BY CLIFTON BURRIS, CLAUD. WILLIS, OSCAR BUTTNER, AND JIMMIE G. JARRÉTT
Mr. BALL. Mr. Chairman, members of the congressional committee, friends, I have the honor of representing a group of employees who are fighting racism, sexism, and discrimination at the Rockwell International Corp. My presentation will take the following form. First, I will give a brief history of the efforts of minorities at Rockwell to bring about an end to discrimination. Next, I will give a summary of the problems encountered by current minority employees of Rockwell. I will then talk about some of the implications for the future of minorities at Rockwell and will conclude with some suggested actions which might be able to provide us some relief.
As early as 1963, a group of employees which had grown tired of racism at the North American Aviation facilities, mobilized for self-preservation. The group dubbed themselves the Society To Urge Racial Equality, later abbreviated to the SURE committee. Leaders of this group were Rev. E. R. Heard, Monroe Smith, Steve Oubichon, Chester Holliday, Fletcher Clark, and Leroy Jeffrey. (See Exhibit I.) As the activities of the group subsided, each of these employees were penalized with layoffs and/or termination.
Discrimination still ran rampant at North American Aviation and black employees again chose to lay their jobs on the line to try to end it. In September 1966, a group of employees, led by Ben Howard, Monroe Smith, Bob Powe, Kirby Seals, Hollis Armstrong, and Steve Oubichon, mobilized a civil rights strike in an attempt to end Rockwell racism. Again the company retaliated with layoffs and termination. (see exhibit II.)
In January 1968, 14 employees of the North American Rockwellnow Rockwell International filed lawsuits challenging the corporation's policy of racism, sexism, and ethnic discrimination. (See exhibit III.) Among those filing suits were William Bernstein, Claude Durham, Earline Edwards, Rose Hallman, Mary Harper, Leroy Jeffrey, Ceola McClendon, Steven Oubichon, Edward Perez, Charles Simmons, Monroe Smith, and Catherine Warrior. Again the company retaliated with layoffs and terminations.
The next event which had a major impact upon employees of the North American Rockwell Corp. was the public hearings held by the EEOC, under Clifford Alexander, in March 1969. At this hearing, George Sherard and Lloyd Napier testified about the discrimination at the plant. (See exhibit IV.) George Sherard has been downgraded,
and Lloyd Napier subsequently received a temporary promotion to Manager.
From 1965 to early 1970 under the pretense of implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, a few minority personnel, mostly in plant services, were promoted to assistant supervisors. Individual efforts by minority personnel still did not cease with the company acceptance of the 5-year ongoing affirmative action program plan for performance of the B-1 program contract. Minority employees were assured a program of upward mobility: Failure of management and the Los Angeles B-1 division staff members to effectively execute the affirmative action program plan continues to disallow the equal distribution of the minority work force within organizational units and occupational categories. The negative attitude of the company regardng implementation of upward mobility policies for minority employees is evidenced by the number of grievances alleged, and the need to seek assistance from outside sources such as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Employment Practice Commission. This did not prove to be the answer either, since the grievances were not processed to prove their validity.
The fight aginst discrimination continued throughout the 1970's. A new organization, the Black Workers Association, was formed under the sustained leadership of such persons as George Baker, Charles Nealy, Robert Pearson, Robert Powe, Lew Kuykendall, Gibbon Brown, Ramon Tyson, Alice Dortch, Francis Pavton, Monroe Smith, and Steve Oubichon—to name a few. One of the highlights of the group's activities was a picket line formed at the 1970 stockholder meeting of the Rockwell Corp. (See exhibit V.) Francis Payton was harassed until she had to take a medical leave of absence, just as did Ceola McClendon and Roberta Middleton for similar reasons; Lloyd Napier is now terminated. The company moved against the organization by laying off BWA members. (See exhibit VI.) In February 1971, the company terminated the BWA membership chairperson. When, in February 1972, the company terminated the BWA chairman, Ben Howard, the Black Workers Association demised.
For nearly 3 years, there were no organized efforts against the racism and sexism at the Rockwell Corp. But brave men and woman cannot long be shackled. Once again, employees have been presented to the point where they are willing to place their jobs on the line to end discrimination at the Rockwell plant. This bravery and the search for economic freedom and dignity gave birth to the Concerned Minority Employees of Rockwell International.
The Organization of the Concerned Minorities of Rockwell International was prompted by the need to collectively combat, through one resounding voice, the many discriminatory practices encountered by minorities in the performance of the B-1 program contract. Retaliatory measures taken by the company against individuals who singularly allege discriminatory employment practices have resulted in emplovee reluctance to exercise their rights under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continued harassment and acts of discrimination caused aggrieved employees to group together to oppose job discrimination, especially among the black employees, at Rockwell International. The Rockwell Urban Affairs Office has failed to be the representative element intended. This office has not fulfilled its re
sponsibility of appropriate implementation of the affirmative action program plan, as is evidenced by the many unresolved grievances.
The Concerned Minorities Association is bound and determined to address the problem through concerted efforts of achievement of equal employment for all minorities of Rockwell International. It is the intent and purpose of this association to assist in the attainment of the following:
Company adherence to the guidelines of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with regard to prevention and discrimination in federally assisted programs and the initially agreed upon affirmative action program plan.
Elimination of all phases of discrimination in employment for all minorities in an effort to build a solid foundation of equal employment opportunities for the present work force and future employees—some who are likely to be offspring of the present work force.
It is apparent by the number of grievances filed against Rockwell International since 1970, that the company has not lived up to its affirmative action plan of equal distribution of the minority work force within organizational units and occupational categories. Rockwell's acquisition of the B-1 program contract was conditioned upon a 5-year projection to achieve utilization of minority employees at each managerial level, within the administrative and professional category, and within the advanced technical payroll occupational category. A realistic view of the present affirmative action program plan will reveal that appropriate adjustments established to achieve projected goals have not been accomplished. During the past 4 years, the only resultant action has been a shifting of minority employees within the A. & P. and ATP categories to justify the head count required to substantiate the goals. Now that it is time to extend the B-1 program contract, the present situation of companywide layoffs affords the company grounds for justification of the proposed goals, which are based on work force mix, and continued underutilization of black employees.
Acceptance of the 5-year ongoing affirmative action program plan during the performance of the B-1 program contract was based on successful affirmative action results. The Los Angeles B-1 Division president agreed, as did other department heads, to adhere to the equal employment opportunity clause, not to discriminate against any employee, and to insure that the employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin. These actions include, but are not limited to: (1) Employment, (2) transfer, (3) recruitment advertising, (4) layoff or termination, (5) rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and (6) selection for training and company-sponsored training and educational programs.
B-1 Division staff members who are responsible for the program's effectiveness can be charged only with the flagrant neglect of the principles of the equal employment with a view towards underutilization of black minority and female employees in all departments of the Los Angeles Division. An estimated 250–300 complaints of alleged job discrimination have been lodged against the company by black minority and female employees in an effort to obtain equal employment. These complaints have resulted in little or no action. Instead, grievances have caused in some instances the creation of "instant minorities"; that is, Caucasians who immediately become Indians, Chicanos, orientals, and so forth, in an effort on the part of the company to
invalidate the alleged charges of discrimination. The policy of lateral and/or vertical movement of minority employees occurring at a lesser rate than that of nonminority employees is a major contributing force of discontent.
The majority of the work force in B-1 manufacturing is made up of black minority employees. However, there exist no job satisfying factors such as responsibility, recognition for ability or job performance, achievement, and most important, advancement. Minorities can be utilized in more managerial, supervisory, or positions of responsibility, if guidelines of the affirmative action program plan are followed.
Employment opportunities for nonbargaining employees are not posted or announced to allow an opportunity for upgrading, advancement, or promotion based on ability, job performance, seniority, academic skills, or education level. Promotable minorities are not identified within departments; therefore, they are denied the opportunity to compete for available positions on individual merits. When employment opportunities are made known, major duties and qualifications are not defined to determine what qualifications are required. Thus, qualifications pertinent to the position cannot be determined. As a result of this, black employees are subjected to underutilization and deprived of the opportunity to compete for positions of responsibility or advancement.
Affirmative action plans executed under CFT 60-2.25(f) (4) require contractor's assurance that minority employees are given equal opportunity for promotion, and further, that minority employees should not be required to possess higher qualifications than those of the lowest qualified incumbent. This is contrary to the situations that presently exist at Rockwell International. Black employees in the A. & P. and ATP categories who have college credits and hold degrees are not being considered for advancement or upgrading; instead, they are required to work under nonminority managers and supervisors who have far less seniority, have only a high school education or less, and have no job-performance-related experience. Man specifications are not evaluated on job-performance-related criteria as required.
Evidence of the alleged discriminatory practices at Rockwell International is substantiated by a partial listing of individual grievances of B-1 Division emplovees (see exhibit III), some dating as far back as 1970 with no resultant action taken to date. An investiga-. tion into these complaints will reflect the gross deficiencies that exist in the implementation of the affirmative action program plan. These complaints are by no means the only ones in question. They were chosen, however, because they are representative of the problems that continue to confront the greater majority of black minority population of the manufacturing world of Rockwell International. It should be noted that action on these complaints together with many more is nending due to the large number of complaints filed and the very limited number of consultants available at the local offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Fair Employment Practice Commission.
What does the future hold for us? We can only see darkness and despair. In 1970, the company embarked upon a less-than-ambitious
"affirmative action” plan to increase their total minority work force by 12 percent in 5 years at the B-1 Division (see exhibit VIII). Even these modest goals have not been reached; discrimination still exists widely at the top higher paying levels of the firm. We are further dismayed as an action taken by the company in 1973. At a shareholder's meeting, the corporation voted to eliminate the word "American” from their corporate name for fear that the word “American” would be an "inhibiting factor" (according to the news article listed as exhibit IX). We are well aware of our plight as exploited workers in a corporation which would sacrifice that word "American" for the sake of greater profits.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The following conclusions drafted by the Concerned Minorities of Rockwell International are submitted as a means of approaching a solution to the problems that presently exist in the Los Angeles B-1 Division, with a view to rectification of the existing discrimination practices.
1. Conspicuously post and announce all employment opportunities to assure all qualified nonbargaining minority employees are informed and receive consideration for upgrading, advancement, or promotion.
2. Define qualifications and duties of employment opportunities, to include directorship, managerial, supervisory, and other positions of responsibility, to allow minority employees an opportunity for advancement based on education, ability, job performance, and seniority.
3. Comply with the affirmative action program plan by evaluating academic and experience levels, job performance, and ability of senior minority employees to determine their potential for promotion or upgrading.
4. Investigate the pay scale of Los Angeles B-1 Division employees to insure that equal wage rates and salary compensation prevails for black minority emplovees who function in same classifications and perform same responsibilities or man-specifications of nonminorities.
5. Identify all minority employees holding top managerial or supervisory positions in the Los Angeles B-1 Division by name, race, classification, salary level, and department to substantiate the company projections showing minority employees in these positions.
6. Review qualifications of black minority employees to insure they are given full opportunity for transfers and promotions.
7. Exclude the policy of lateral and/or vertical movement of minority employees occurring at a letter rate than that of nonminority employees.
8. Conduct an immediate in-plant investication of the Los Angeles B-1 Division with representatives of the EEOC and the Concerned Minorities of Rockwell International in attendance, to verify the validity of the alleged complaints of poor employment and discriminatory practices.
In conclusion, the Concerned Minorities of Rockwell International respectfully submit the following recommendations:
1. Request Congress initiate an investigation at the Los Angeles EEOC Office into the reason for delay of processing the excessive hacklog of complaints alleged against Rockwell International and determine a responsive system of resolving these complaints.