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Discrimination Forbidden: Training Programs

EDITORS' NOTE: Congressman Reid (R., N.Y.) introduced an amendment during the debate in the House to make clear that the prohibition against discrimination in training programs also covered "retraining" programs. The amendment was adopted and appears in Section 703(e)(1) of the Act as adopted.


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AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. REID OF NEW YORK Mr. REID of New York. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. REID of New York: On page 69, line 23, after "training" insert "or retraining, including on-the-job training".

Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REID of New York. I yield to the distinguished chairman from New York.

Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is acceptable to me.

Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REID of New York. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.

Mr. McCULLOCH. The amendment is acceptable over here.

Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REID of New York. I yield to the gentleman from New York.

Mr. LINDSAY. I congratulate the gentleman for offering this amendment. It does not change the meaning of the section at all. It restates what is already in it, and we will accept it.

Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REID of New York. I yield to the gentleman from Arkansas.

Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, what does the gentleman mean by "retraining"? If you have been trained in something, what is the interpretation of "retraining"?

Mr. REID of New York. In answer to the question of the gentleman from Arkansas, it includes those in need of new skills; and those affected when a business moves. It would deal with automation, those who have been automated out. It involves any kind of retraining of that sort.

Mr. HARRIS. In other words, if a person is trained in a particular skill and it is later determined he wants to pursue another skill and he is trained in that particular skill, then you call that retraining?

Mr. REID of New York. That is one definition.

Mr. GROSS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REID of New York. I yield to the gentleman from Iowa.

Mr. GROSS. What will this cost?

Mr. REID of New York. I would hope it would save money, because I think apprentice training is basic to the whole question of hard-core unemployment. It is the area in employment where there is perhaps the greatest need-the semiskilled and the unskilled.

As the gentleman perhaps knows, something like only two percent of those undergoing apprentice training in the United States are Negroes. I would hope this section and these additional words retraining and on-the-job training would make the section explicit; would help the whole question of unemployment; and would help the economy. Above all, I hope it will represent a step forward for equal opportunity or merit in employment.

Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. REID of New York. I yield to the gentleman from New York.

Mr. LINDSAY. The word "training" as appears in line 23, page 69, includes retraining. The gentleman in his amendment does not add anything or take away anything. It just makes ex

Discrimination Forbidden: Union Discrimination



pp. 2593-2595

EDITORS' NOTE: Congressman Cahill (R., N.J.) introduced an amendment making it illegal for a union to give preference to one candidate for membership or training over another for reasons other than job qualifications. The amendment was rejected by a voice vote.


Mr. CAHILL. Mr. Chairman, I offer two amendments. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that both amendments be read together and considered at the same time. They both amend the same section.

Mr. GROSS. Mr. Chairman, may we have the amendments read before consent is given to having them considered en bloc?

plicit what was intended by the drafters of the bill.


The regular order is that the Clerk will report the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey.

The Clerk read as follows:

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York [Mr. REID].

The amendment was agreed to.

Amendment offered by Mr. CAHILL:

On page 69, line 17, after the semicolon, strike out the word "or" and after line 20 add, "(4) to give preference to one applicant for membership over another applicant for reasons other than job qualifications and for reasons which may have the indirect effect of causing discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin."

On page 70, line 3, strike out the period and insert in lieu thereof a semicolon and add the following: "or to give preference to one applicant over another in admission to, or employment in, any such program for reasons other than job qualifications and for reasons which may have the indirect effect of causing discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin."

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New Jersey that the amendments be considered en bloc?

There was no objection.

Mr. CAHILL. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, these two amendments would amend section 704 of the bill. I was surprised to learn— and I do not know whether it is within the knowledge of the members of the committee or not-that prior to this bill there has never been a Federal statute under which any agency of the Federal Government could compel a union to accept any person as a member. I understand that all of the national unions of the United States are supporting this title of the bill, as am I, but as I read the section of the bill which makes it an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization to exclude member

ship, it can only exclude membership on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin; and, in the following section, section (d), it is only an unlawful practice if an employer or a labor organization fails to accept apprentices on the same basis.

The courts have held, as I understand the law, that unions have an absolute right to fix the qualifications of their members and it has been my impression that the national unions of this country have been experiencing a good deal of trouble with some of the smaller unions, some of the unaffiliated unions, that have excluded membership in spite of the fact that the applicant is qualified.

For example, I have a case in my own district where a man served his apprenticeship, he worked at the trade since 1948, and he cannot get membership in a union.

The purpose of my amendment is to permit any qualified person to become a member of a union and not to limit the authority of the Commission merely to cases of disqualification on the basis of race, color, creed, or national origin. Thus, if a qualified person makes application for membership in the union and is denied membership for any reason other than his qualifications to do the job, that person would also have a right to go to the Commission and there get a hearing. If it were determined by the Commission or the courts that he was excluded for any reason other than qualifications, he would be permitted to become a member of the union. In that way he would be permitted to go and get a job where union membership was required.

A similar amendment having the same intent and purpose would apply to section (d) of the bill. It has been my understanding that the national labor organizations have been conducting a commendable fight to eliminate this type of discrimination where some of the small unions that have handed down jobs from father to son and brother to brother, and who have declined to accept membership, even though the members were qualified. While the national unions have been trying to eliminate this abuse and I want to commend all of the national organizations, particularly the AFL-CIO, in attempting to do this, and also in supporting title VII of this bill, the evil nevertheless continues to exist.

I feel therefore if we are going to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race and color we ought to also eliminate

any other discrimination that may exist, so that any man who is qualified and who is anxious to work can become a member on paying the union dues. Since there is no statute compelling admission to a union, this will be the only statute, and if this statute is not amended then the only basis for exclusion will be race, color, and so forth.

I would urge the Committee to accept my amendment.

Mr. DENT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. CAHILL. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. DENT. If I understand the gentleman right you would go beyond just a labor organization. You might take

a professional association that practices that sort of discrimination, as you call it?

Mr. CAHILL. No. That is not the fact.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New Jersey has expired.

(By unanimous consent (at the request of Mr. RoOSEVELT) Mr. CAHILL was allowed to proceed for 3 additional minutes.)

Mr. DENT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. CAHILL. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. DENT. I want to clarify this situation. In Pennsylvania, for instance, a student may enter a law school, he may graduate from that law school, and the local bar association can prevent him from practicing law in any specific county although he has passed the bar, graduated from college, yet the bar association committee on admittance will bar him for something he had nothing to do with.

Mr. CAHILL. I understand the gentleman's question, and I understand the situation as it exists in Pennsylvania. I will say this is an amendment to section 704, subsection (1) which reads that it shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization. The bar association is not included.

Mr. DENT. I do not think the gentleman's amendment is germane to the purpose of the act anymore than if I offered an amendment to prevent a bar association from admitting only approved applicants.

Mr. OSMERS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. CAHILL. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

Mr. OSMERS. Mr. Chairman, I am in strong support of the bill.

Mr. Chairman, the enactment of broad civil rights legislation is long overdue. I urge my colleagues to give their full support to the bill before us and to oppose any amendments which have the objective of weakening its enforcement provisions or limiting its coverage.

The bills which I introduced in January and June of 1963 contain substantially the same provisions as those included in the bill before us today.

In the preamble to our Constitution it is stated that "We the People of the United States" are establishing the Constitution to "secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." The Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln more than a century ago gave freedom to the enslaved. That action will always stand as a great monument to freedom. But now, we, as the Congress of the United States, have the responsibility and the long delayed obligation to guarantee equality as well as freedom to all Americans regardless of race, color or creed.

Then, in 1868, the 14th amendment was ratified. Section 1 of that amendment to the Constitution states that "no State will make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Section 5 of the same amendment clearly states that "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

The 15th amendment, ratified in 1870, gives to all citizens the right to vote and empowers the Congress to enforce the right by appropriate legislation.

To the credit of a large majority of our States, nearly every civil right that is provided for in the bill before us is completely protected by State law. But until every citizen in every State, in every county, and in every municipality, has his constitutional rights spelled out and safeguarded by the Federal Government, we cannot claim to the world or to ourselves that we are the land of the free.

Other Members have gone into the most exhausting detail with respect to every provision of this bill. Every conceivable, and a few inconceivable, amendments to it have been offered. Very little more can be said with respect

to its detailed provisions. The broad provisions contained in it have withstood every assault.

It is my deepest hope, Mr. Chairman, that the House will pass this bill without substantial change so that in the future every American will have his right to vote, to use public accommodations and public facilities, to equality in education and employment. Let us also end Federal financial assistance to any program of any kind, anywhere, when there is a finding of racial discrimination. The enforcement provisions must remain clear and strong or the whole bill will prove to be a farce.

The time has long since passed when any citizen of the United States any. where in our great land should be required to ask for his constitutional rights with hat in hand. They have been his rights under the Constitution for nearly 100 years. It is the duty of the Congress to insure that he is protected in the exercise of them by law.

Mr. ROOSEVELT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I want to make very clear that if we had understood the amendment when it was read we would have objected to it on the ground of germaneness, because this bill is limited to discrimination on account of race. color, or creed. The gentleman from New Jersey may have a very laudable idea in his mind and certainly, perhaps, one that should be given consideration, but it has nothing to do with this bill. I earnestly ask my colleagues on the committee not to bring into the bill subject matter which has really nothing to do with this bill at all.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out the last two words.

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employer, for that matter, engages in a practice which actually is a subterfuge amounting to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or creed in some indirect fashion then a court could probably find that such a practice would fall within the scope of this bill.

However, so far as the gentleman's amendment is concerned, there are factors such as seniority, length of employment, and other factors which could affect union membership, union rights, and so forth, and have nothing to do with color, race, or creed.

I realize and appreciate the general problem at which the gentleman's amendment is directed. And, I am in sympathy with what he is trying to do. However, I hesitate to support the amendment for the reasons I have indicated.

Mr. CAHILL. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GRIFFIN. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

Mr. CAHILL: I wonder if the gentleman would let me have his expert opinion about a small union which excluded applicants from membership because they were not sons or brothers of members. If they excluded a Negro because he was not a brother or a son of one of the members, would the gentleman say that the bill as presently written would take care of that situation?

Mr. GRIFFIN. If the admission rule were adopted for that purpose, for the purpose of actually excluding Negroes, then I believe the bill would cover it; however, that would be a question of fact. Again, I must say that the gentleman's amendments raises a number of different problems and a lot of factors outside the scope of the limited subjects we are trying to deal with in this legislation.

Mr. O'HARA of Michigan. I gather that one of the things the gentleman from New Jersey is trying to get at is discrimination because of relationship.

Mr. CAHILL. Or no relationship. I think this is something the Committee on Education and Labor ought to go into.

Mr. O'HARA of Michigan. We discussed this matter before in a different

context and never seemed to get anywhere in connection with labor employment because of relationship. I do not know why we ought in this bill to try to impose it on one particular kind of citizen and no one else.

Mr. CAHILL. The gentleman recognizes that the only thing that can happen is that the person excluded would then have the same right as the Negro excluded, that is, to say that he was unfairly discriminated against The only thing that could happen would be that the union would have to accept him as a member.

Mr. GRIFFIN. I realize that in our society there are lots of situations of discrimination besides the discrimination against Negroes, but we are not trying to solve all the other problems today. I think it would be unwise to try to do that on the floor of this legislation.

Mr. TAFT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GRIFFIN. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.

Mr. TAFT. I would like to have the gentleman's comments on the qualifications that would be required for the members of this particular Commission in times to come. Would they assure ability to decide on questions relating to labor relations?

Mr. GRIFFIN. Having looked at the language of the amendment, I think it might be very difficult for experts in labor relations to make the determinations required. It would be even more difficult for Commission members who did not have expertise in this field.

Mr. CAHILL. The gentleman is one of the ranking members of the Labor Committee. He recognizes this abuse exists. I wonder if he can tell me what, if anything, the committee is doing to correct this.

Mr. GRIFFIN. I cannot report that the committee is doing anything in that field right now; however, perhaps we can persuade the people on the other side of the aisle who control the committee to take a look at it.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey.

The amendment was rejected.

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