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TODD v. JOINT APPREN. COM. OF STEEL WKRS. OF CHICAGO

October 16, 1963

RONALD L. TODD AND MICHAEL COCHRAN, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JOINT APPRENTICESHIP COMMITTEE OF THE STEEL WORKERS OF CHICAGO AND INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BRIDGE, STRUCTURAL AND ORNAMENTAL IRON WORKERS LOCAL UNION NO. 1, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell, Chief Judge.

The instant action, which might best be described as a suit alleging the discriminatory denial of job opportunities in violation of the United States Constitution, was first presented on a motion for a temporary restraining order or in the alternative for a preliminary injunction.

By way of chronology I should here record that prior to accepting the task of deciding this case on its merits I attempted, unsuccessfully, in a pre-trial conference to have the attorneys for the respective parties reach an amicable settlement.

When settlement showed itself to be impossible, I immediately heard oral argument on the all important issue of jurisdiction. The excellent oral arguments of all counsel, buttressed by their equally fine supporting briefs, convinced me, first, of the unusual importance and significance of this case from both a legal and a sociological perspective; second, of an apparent conflict between the equities of the case and what law there is relative to the issues; and thirdly, of the fact that for the most part this complaint, taken as a whole, presented a case of first impression, which should proceed at this time without further delay to do justice to all parties concerned.

In order better to study the issues, I required the additional benefit of knowledge of the facts underlying the complaint, facts which it was apparent defendants' counsel themselves did not agree upon in their oral arguments on the jurisdictional issue. I, therefore, denied the motions to dismiss without prejudice to their being renewed at the close of the evidence on the motion for a preliminary injunction.

I thereby reserved the jurisdictional issue with the factual issue until now.

After receiving evidence on the facts involved, hearing the most eloquent arguments of all counsel, and re-reading the excellent briefs previously submitted I now make the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

The named plaintiffs, three young negroes, bring this case as a class action on behalf of themselves and all other negroes who are similarly situated. The defendants are identified as follows:

  1. Joint Apprenticeship Committee of the Steel
    Workers of Chicago and International Association
    of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers
    Local Union No. 1, and Its Named Officers and
    Officials named in the complaint, which will be
    hereinafter referred to as the Joint Committee, or
    as the Committee.
  2. Iron Workers Bridge and Structural Union, Local
    No. 1, and Its Officers and Officials named in the
    complaint, which entity will hereinafter be
    referred to as the Union.
  3. Paschen Contractors, Inc., a Delaware Corporation,
    and Peter Kiewit Sons Co., a Nebraska Corp., which
    will be hereinafter referred to jointly as The
    Contractor.
  4. Bethlehem Steel Company, a Delaware corporation,
    which will hereinafter be referred to as Bethlehem.
  5. Dominic Tesauro, Regional Administrator, General
    Services Administration, who will hereinafter be
    referred to either as Tesauro or the G.S.A.
  6. Alvin A. Dost, Regional Director, Bureau of
    Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of
    Labor, which hereinafter will be referred to as
    Dost or the Bureau.
  7. Board of Education, City of Chicago, which will
    hereinafter be referred to as the Board of
    Education.

There is little dispute as to the facts, although there seems to be a grave question as to what findings they may justify. Thus, for present purposes I will merely outline the facts to the extent necessary to permit me to recite my findings thereon.

In October, 1962, GSA entered into a contract for the construction of a United States Courthouse and Office Building structure herein the City of Chicago with the defendant Contractor, who in turn sub-contracted with the defendant Bethlehem as to the steel work. These contracts included provisions which in effect require the Contractor and Sub-Contractor not to discriminate on the basis of race, religion or ethnic background in the hiring of their employees. The contracts also specifically include by reference the terms of Presidential Order No. 10925 on Equal Employment Opportunities.

The defendant Union is the sole supplier of iron workers to Bethlehem on the instant job. Bethlehem by virtue of its collective bargaining contract must hire only those certified to it by the Union.

This Union has never had a negro among its membership. Moreover, the Joint Committee which supplies this Union with its new members through an apprenticeship program has never, until July of 1963, had a negro application on file. The Joint Committee is the sole supplier of apprentices to the Union.

To relieve what on its face appeared to be a patent policy of discrimination an initial attempt was made by government agencies to locate negro journeymen who were Union members. It is noted that this search was not confined to this area, and in fact, this search failed to produce so much as one negro within the ranks of the defendant Union. Having so failed, some six negro welders who had experience working on steel were suggested to the Union and/or to Bethlehem in the hope that some of them might be acceptable journeymen. These men were all found to be incompetent prospective journeymen, either on the basis of their age or lack of experience.

To become a member of the Union through the apprenticeship program an applicant must first be permitted to fill out an application. That application must then be accepted by the Joint Committee, said acceptance coming only after the applicant has been examined by the Committee.

Conflict inheres in the testimony, the documentary evidence and the representations of counsel as to the method by which applicants are selected for indenture certification. Chronology of application is probably a criteria, assuming the Joint Committee desires it to be. But as a practical matter, I find that selection is wholly within the arbitrary discretion of the Joint Committee. In any event, I find that the actual operation of the instant program considered in light of its results discriminates against negroes, more specifically against the rights of negroes to learn and earn a living in, the ...


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