A 1962 article from Memphis World titled “Union policies restrict minority earning.”


Union Policies Said To Restrict Minority Earning
—The International Ladies Garment Workers Union came in for some strong criticism of its practices involving Negro and Puerto Rican members in testimony here this week before a sub- committee of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Herbert Hill, NAACP labor secretary, declared in his statement to the subcommittee: "There are virtually no Negro and Puerto Rican members in the locals that control access to the well paid jobs where there is a high degree of job stability," he said. He said that for all practical purposes, locals such as 10, 60 and 89 are "lily white" while Negro and Puerto Rican workers are "limited to membership in Local 22 and in the unit known as 60A," which he called "the Jim Crow auxiliary of Local 80."

The average hourly wage in jobs within Local 60's jurisdiction pressers) is $5.00 an hour, Mr. Hill said. Local 60 has an all white membership, and its jobs are the best in New York City's garment industry.

"On the other hand," he added, "there is 60A which is simply a unit of Local 60. This is almost entirely Negro and Puerto Rican. They work as shipping clerks, push bays and delivery man. They earn in the vicinity of $50.00 per week." ILGWU contracts provide for but a small amount above the bare minimum required by law "in the locals where there is a major concentration of non white workers,' Hill's statement declared.

Typical jobs in these categories are floor girls, shipping clerks, trimmers and sewing machine operators in the low priced dress field and in the miscellaneous locals.

Mr. Kill concluded that the IL GWU leadership has simply refused to adjust to the fact that non- whites make up an increasingly large part of New York's population –with heavy concentration in the lower income categories, the bulk of the union's constituency.