Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Facts to Combat Job Discrimination - 2nd UE National Conference on Problems of Working Women May 15 - 16, 1954

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: Facts to Combat Job Discrimination - 2nd UE National Conference on Problems of Working Women May 15 - 16, 1954

 This is a fascinating piece of North American and US social and labour history that flowed from a United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) conference in 1954. It looks at the union's efforts to combat discrimination against women in the workplace both in terms of jobs and wages. It also pays special attention to the issues confronting black women in the workforce especially in the context of the times. 

It shows that myths and excuses used to discriminate against women in the workforce were highly beneficial to the corporations noting the "staggering total of FIVE BILLION FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS IN EXTRA PROFITS that employers make out of their discriminatory exploitation of women". (Emphasis in the original). 

It also notes the always present effort of capitalists to divide workers as when "Employers seek to escape their responsibility for layoffs by setting worker against worker on the basis of age, color and sex." 

Interestingly the UE document calls out some other unions at the time for "playing the bosses' game" by agreeing to discriminatory contract clauses as well as with sexist ideas about women workers generally. 

Finally, among many important stats, note the incredible levels of institutionalized wage discrimination in the United States in 1954 with black women making an average of $517 a year, white women an average of $1,339, black men $1,784, and white men $3,255. 

(Click on images to enlarge) 

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource. 

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via

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