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Constructing Affirmative ActionThe Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity$
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David Hamilton Golland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813129976

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813129976.001.0001

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Fighting Bureaucratic Inertia, 1956–1960

Fighting Bureaucratic Inertia, 1956–1960

(p.7) Chapter 1 Fighting Bureaucratic Inertia, 1956–1960
Constructing Affirmative Action

David Hamilton Golland

University Press of Kentucky

In many cases, one would not be able to get a job, particularly in construction sites, if one was not a member of any union. However, one would not be able to become a member without having participated actively in trade. These cases are common to African Americans, which is why they were rarely able to establish steady employment. Although Thomas Bailey was found to be qualified and occasionally employed by Mr. Eugene Ninnie, Bailey could not be employed for the long term because the Union would not allow Negro masons to join and keep the job. Such incidences account for only a small part of a wider pattern of racial exclusion in craft unions. This chapter looks into the challenges faced by various groups, while introducing some of the mainstream labor organizations and civil rights. Also, it examines how these players were able to convince President Eisenhower's committee to enforce decisive action.

Keywords:   Thomas Bailey, President Eisenhower, craft unions, Negro masons, trade, construction sites, employment, Union, African Americans

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