Jobs or else


Fifth Estate # 89, October 2-15, 1969

Is Detroit headed for the sort of scenes that have gone down in Pittsburgh and Chicago around demands by blacks for more construction jobs?

The NAACP and the Urban League of Detroit have announced plans to work with the construction industry in an effort to include more blacks and other minorities in the building trades.

The building trades unions have traditionally been the most racist and conservative of all the skilled trades and chances for willful compliance on their part seems doubtful.

Detroit blacks have formed their own local of men trained in construction skills, but denied access to jobs because of white union exclusion. The first job the new local took on at 12th and Magnolia was the scene of violence early this summer when all white AF of L members picketed the building site in an attempt to break the fledgling black union group.

The NAACP and the Urban League are the most conservative of all black organizations, but when faced with a racist and intransigent opposition to their just demands, it could prove to be a long, hot Fall for Detroit.