LABOR: Busting Bias in Steel

In most steel mills there are basically three kinds of jobs: well-paid craft and production posts for whites, dirtier and lesser-paid jobs for minorities and clerical jobs for women. A landmark consent decree signed last week by the United Steelworkers of America and nine major companies* promises to change that situation. The agreement, which ends a Government suit against the companies and the union, is the first job-discrimination settlement to cover almost an entire industry.

Under the agreement, some 40,000 women and minority workers will receive $30.9 million in back wages this year to compensate them for past discrimination. Half of...

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