Labor: The Philadelphia Problem

The workers in the nation's proud and powerful building trades unions are among the highest paid in the land. For the most part, their jobs have been passed down, generally to friends or relatives, though nepotism is on the wane today. The building unionists have kept the door closed to most of the blacks who would like to join. Of the U.S.'s 1,300,000 card-carrying construction workers, only about 106,000 are black —and four-fifths of them are laborers, the lowest paid of the lot.

In an effort to pry open the closed doors, the...

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