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Posts Tagged with "U.S. Department of Labor Manpower Administration Office of Manpower Policy Evaluation and Research"

Griot Leon A. Waters leads a Hidden History tour on the New Orleans General Strike of 1892, the first one organized by Blacks and whites together. Three unions – two white and one Black – demanded a shorter work day of 10 hours, overtime pay after 60 hours and a union shop. The 25,000 striking workers won a 25 percent wage increase, a shorter work day and other gains. – Photo: HiddenHistory.us

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 5

May 30, 2014

The movement from farm to city forced the proletariat to unite in order to wrest decent pay and working conditions from large corporations, which tended to control entire industries as well as to reduce competition from immigrants and others, including Negroes. The history of the American labor unions, like that of big business itself, is filled with examples of racism, nationalism and exclusionism.

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In Ohio before 1865, Joe Debro writes, “Blacks had to have a certificate of freedom giving name, stature and complexion as well as details concerning the method of becoming free. In addition, a $500 bond as guarantee of good conduct was required of incoming freedmen, thus discouraging many Negroes from settling in the state.” Today, Ohio remains hostile to Black tradesmen – construction workers and contractors – who held a protest in late April, telling a major developer: “Black and other minority contractors and construction workers have been denied contracts and jobs on construction projects. Though entitled to an equal opportunity, we have been crushed and broken by the one sided, majority dominated and oppressive system which has neglected and/or confined Black and minority contractors to just the crumbs of the multi-billion dollar construction industry in the Greater Cleveland-Cuyahoga County area.” – Photo: Norman K. Edwards, American Center for Economic Equality, normankedwards@gmail.com

Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 4

May 2, 2014

Black labor and business in the North before 1862: Labor and business conditions were slightly better for Negroes in the North than in the South, but discriminatory practices were far from absent. Unlike the South, where slaves were protected in their crafts through the paternalistic assistance of their white masters, Northern free Negroes were faced with severe competition from immigrant workers who were preferred over native Blacks.

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Joe Debro on racism in construction, Part 3

March 31, 2014

Here we attempt to trace some of the historical antecedents and current socioeconomic processes that have served to prevent Black and Mexican American entrepreneurs from being assimilated into the mainstream of national business activities. In so doing, we must examine the evolution of Negro and Mexican American labor in the United States and its relationship to white-controlled labor unions, business and government.

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