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that decisions are irregular or unclear, if it appears that procedures designed to lead to sanctions never really arrive there, if it seems that ex parte appeals can achieve a departure from, or change of, established practices, then there is every incentive for one who is not especially motivated toward compliance to resist as long and as vehemently as possible.
In this set of hearings we will be focusing on the procedures of two Departments, Defense and Transportation, each of which has extremely important commercial relationships with major industries and thus has important responsibilities for promoting equal employment opportunity in those industries. But the questions that have been raised concerning these Departments, and the answers we will receive, are relevant to related responsibilities of other Departments as well. We are very mindful of the reports that new procedures may be adopted by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in meeting its responsibility for preventing Federal funds from contributing to the perpetuation of segregated education. It is too early to predict what kind of changes might be made. But what we can contribute here is a sense of the need both to pay attention to how the changes are made and to make sure that procedural changes do not destroy the substantive programs. Certainly many of us will be keeping a constant vigil in this area.
It is my hope that the present hearings will serve to resolve many of the doubts that the recent decisions have generated. In fact, I believe that the Cabinet members who will appear welcome this opportunity to state their commitments and their plans on the record. I think these hearings will help them and all of us to see that if procedures are followed which give a full chance for affected groups to be heard, which give full weight to the internal government mechanisms established to protect the public interest, and which produce full and clear information about what is being done, then those who are regulated, and those for whose benefit regulation occurs, can have confidence and faith in the regular enforcement of Government policies.
Our first vitness this morning is the Honorable Clifford L. Alexander, the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
We welcome you here, Mr. Alexander.
STATEMENT OF CLIFFORD L. ALEXANDER, JR., CHAIRMAN, EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, ACCOMPANIED BY DAN STEINER, GENERAL COUNSEL, AND VINCENT COHEN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH
Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. Chairman and Senator Dirksen, on my right. is our general counsel, Mr. Dan Steiner, and on my left our Director of Research, Mr. Vincent Cohen.
Mr. Chairman and Senator Dirksen, you have convened this hearing to explore the effectiveness and efficiency of government practices and procedures for insuring equal opportunity in employment among Government contractors.
The adequacy of tools must, of course, be measured against the magnitude of the task. I would like, therefore, to give you my perspective
as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on job discrimination as it exists today. The Commission's jurisdiction extends, as you know, to employers of 25 or more, whether or not they are Government contractors, as well as to unions, employment agencies, and joint apprenticeship programs.
I see from the witness list that you will be hearing from other agencies with specific responsibilities under Executive Order 11246 for compliance by Government contractors with provisions of that order, and I will not comment on its requirements or administration. What I shall say about discrimination from my vantage point as Chairman of EEOC applies to contractors and noncontractors alike.
I believe we must recognize three basic characteristics of discrimination: it is pervasive in the American way of business; it is too often unrecognized for what it is; and, most importantly, it can be rooted out through appropriate and determined action.
It has become fashionable of late to talk of "disadvantage" as the reason why minorities find themselves unemployed or confined to the bottom of the job hierarchy. The assumption is that minorities are largely unable to compete effectively because education and training opportunities have been previously denied them. But it is not "disadvantage" that makes the annual earnings of the black college graduate $1,040 less at the median than the white who never attended college. It is discrimination.
The data our Commission collected in 1966 from all employers of 100 or more, including most Government contractors, showed that of 172 million male employees, one out of nine was an official or manager; but among 12 million Negro male employees, only one out of 100 was so employed; and among Spanish surnamed American males, only one out of 40. Among all male blue-collar employees, one in three was a foreman or craftsman; but only one in 10 blacks, and one in five Spanish surnamed Americans. For minority women the situation is even worse since sex discrimination compounds their lack of opportunity.
There are those who would deny that broad-scale discrimination is largely responsible for the exclusion of minorities, or their compression into lower paying jobs. But they ignore both what the processes of law define as discrimination, and the availability of qualified minorities that the Commission has tried to demonstrate through a series of public hearings and industry meetings.
When employers claim they "see no qualified minority applicants" it is often because their recruitment does not extend into the minority community as it has always extended into the Anglo community. In many instances, where the effect of such limited recruiting is to perpetuate a virtually all-white workforce, the employer would be in violation of title VII—not to mention the Executive order-despite the most glowing policy statement in his employee manual or diligent use of the "equal opportunity employer" slug in his classified ads in the daily paper.
Similarly, where minority job applicants are screened out disproportionately by tests that have not been validated as predictive of or related to actual job performance, the employer violates the law no less than if he is still had a "whites only" sign in his personnel office.
Where minority employees are concentrated today in less desirable jobs because present seniority systems-fair on their face since they apply to all-perpetuate the effects discriminatory placement in the past, the employer violates the law today.
I could cite further instances of how discrimination often fails to be perceived for what the courts have determined it to be under title VII. But this Commission has seen many instances where one needn't be a lawyer to know that much more is afoot than a shortage of qualified minority workers. At public hearings in New York in 1968 on discrimination in white-collar employment, we saw that among that city's nine largest banks, two had 31 black executives-four others had none. We saw other instances of how some employers were capable of finding qualified blacks and Puerto Ricans for white-collar jobs at all levels while others, in the same industry, were unable to find any to do virtually the same kind of work. Indeed, out of some 4,300 reporting units in the city, 46 percent had not a single Puerto Rican in any white-collar job-from clerical on up-and 43 percent had not a single black.
I would like to submit for the record a distillation of those New York hearings whose title, I think, sums up the picture we saw among some of the Nation's largest employers. It is called "Help Wanted *** Or is it." (This material appears in an appendix to these hearings.)
Mr. ALEXANDER. Many of the findings in our New York hearings apply with equal force to blue-collar work as well as white collar. And they repeat themselves from city to city, industry to industry. We have met privately with top executives of the drug and utilities industries, reviewed their reported employment statistics, and urged action to change the patterns they showed; despite large minority work forces in their operating areas, little minority participation above the lower blue-collar level and virtually no minority representation in middle management and upper level jobs.
Just 2 weeks ago in Los Angeles we saw an extremely disturbing picture at hearings covering the aerospace industry, motion picture production, the three radio-TV networks, and several major financial institutions. In the movie industry, Mexican-Americans and blacks were almost completely excluded from craft jobs by a collusive system involving the producers and many craft unions. The system's forseeable discriminatory effect made it a violation of title VII notwithstanding the intent of the parties involved, and the parties evidenced no intent to change that system.
In the aerospace industry, lumping of minorities at the bottom of the job hierarchy was a rule with few exceptions. Minority witnesses testified they were frozen in positions for longer than their Anglo colleagues despite comparable or superior education and training.
The same television networks that had promised in New York to improve an abysmal record of minority employment showed, 15 months later, a failure no less stunning to utilize the rich potential of minorities in Los Angeles.
I would be delighted to furnish this subcommittee with the transcript of the Commission's hearings in Los Angeles as soon as it is available. It will show a bleak picture. But it will also show some
exceptions to this picture, as we saw among New York's leading whitecollar employers, the drug industry, and the private utilities. They are important exception, for they point to the abundance of qualified minority workers when employers adopt nondiscriminatory practices. It is the Commission's experience that those relatively few companies who have successfully recruited and upgraded minorities share certain vital characteristics. They have developed detailed written plans for affirmative action, establishing for themselves specific goals and timetables for ending exclusion and underutilization of minority workers. This is the businesslike reports. Top management requires reports of progress or failure plant by plant, department by department, job category by job category. Reports are not just filed, but acted upon. Top management makes it clear that rewards and sanctions will apply to supervisors' performance in equalizing job opportunity just as the apply to performance in other areas of the company's operation.
There is, Mr. Chairman, one industry in which I understand the subcommittee is particularly interested, where it appears that top management attention among major employees is particularly needed. This industry-the textile industry-was the first to which the Commission addressed itself in a public context in January 1967. Statistics presented at a public forum in Charlotte showed gross underutilization of blacks, particularly black women, in North and South Carolina textile plants ... And the Commission's investigations had uncovered some of the overtly discriminatory practices at plants of industry leaders that underlay the statistics of exclusion. I am submitting a statistical summary of black employment in the textile industry for the appendix of this record.
There have been other industries whose major employers have had comparably bad records. The leading textile employers are noteworthy, however, because in their capacity as Government contractors they have been the subject of efforts by the OFCC and DOD following the Commission's textile forum, and thus provide an example of an industry where all the tools this subcommittee is exploring have been used.
The Commission's experience with three of these major employers is enlightening. According to forms filed with the Commission in 1966, these companies made up about 25 percent of total textile employment, and now employ some 133,000 people. They have been the subject of a number of Commission investigations. At one plant, a company refused to hire a black woman solely because she had borne children out of wedlock-although company officials admitted that they hired unwed mothers who were white.
At another, a black man was discharged when he failed to execute a supervisor's order to perform an unpleasant task that investigation revealed was not assigned to similarly placed whites. It did not appear incidental that this man, whose work record had been rated adequate in the past, had been having trouble since being reelected president of the local NAACP. Nor would it seem incidental that an unwritten plant rule required blacks, but not whites, to use paper cups when drinking from a supposedly desegregated water fountain.
Both cases I have mentioned were based on charges filed in 1966.
The incidents are reasonably typical of cases we have investigated in other plants of the three textile companies at various times before and after the textile forum. And, unfortunately, such practices and others even more serious are allegedly widespread even today.
In a charge received this year against one of the three companies, gross violations of title VII were alleged including maintenance of segregated facilities and discriminatory shift assignments, layoff, and discharge based on race. In addition, the complaint cited persistent refusal of the respondent to undertake its responsibilities under Executive Order 11246.
I will not comment upon this alleged failure of the company as a Government contractor to execute the requirements of the Executive order. And the entire charge, of course, must be investigated before the Commission decides whether the facts support alleged violations of title VII by this employer or any other. I will say, however, that the underutilization of blacks which the three leading textile companies reported in 1968 strongly suggests widespread discrimination at work. Blacks held 11.7 percent of all the 133,421 jobs reported among the three companies. But the compression of blacks into lower paying jobs is starkly drawn by the statistics on individual job categories the companies themselves reported.
Blacks held only 16 of the 8,437 jobs as officials and managers-0.2 percent.
They held eight of 2,112 jobs as professionals-0.4 percent―and 33 of 1,612 technician positions-2 percent.
There were only nine blacks among 1,497 salesmen-0.6 percent→→ and even at the office and clerical level blacks held only 2.9 percent of the 11,256 reported jobs.
In blue-collar work, Negroes held 11.7 percent of the 75,523 semiskilled operative jobs, but only 1.8 percent of the 15,984 jobs as craftsmen, foremen, and kindred workers. They held 35.9 percent of jobs as laborers and 36 percent of jobs as service workers the lowest rungs of the occupational ladder.
These figures, Mr. Chairman, are appalling-particularly in what they say to the black job applicant whom these companies, like the rest of industry North and South, are ostensibly seeking.
Looking at these figures from the outside, a young black college student would see one of every 16 whites at the companies working in a job as official or manager-but only one of 1,000 blacks. The black high school student would see one of every eight whites working as a foreman or craftsman, but only one of 50 Negroes. What credibility does this lend to the label of "equal opportunity employer" that each of the companies probably displays in its classified ads?
I submit, Mr. Chairman, that equal opportunity will not become a reality in these companies, or in this industry, or in American industry generally unless and until all of the tools available to the public and private sector are appropriately utilized. If these tools are cumbersome, inadequate, duplicative or-most importantly-not utilized, the problem of job discrimination will remain grave.
Discrimination costs billions of dollars annually in unrealized productivity. Dollars out of black and brown and white pockets alike. Its cost in human terms is incalculable. If, with the guidance of this Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure, more effec