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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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Constructing Affirmative Action, 1970–1973

Constructing Affirmative Action, 1970–1973

(p.143) Chapter 5 Constructing Affirmative Action, 1970–1973
Constructing Affirmative Action

David Hamilton Golland

University Press of Kentucky

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

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