Labor, Civil Rights, and the Hughes Tool Company
Annotation On July 12, 1964, in a momentous decision, the National Labor Relations Board decertified the racially segregated Independent Metal Workers Union as the collective bargaining agent at Houston's mammoth Hughes Tool Company. The unanimous decision ending nearly fifty years of Jim Crow unionism at the company marked the first ruling in the Labor Board's history that racial discrimination by a union violated the National Labor Relations Act and was therefore illegal. This ruling was for black workers the equivalent of the Brown v. Board of Education decision by the Supreme Court in the area of education. Botson traces the Jim Crow unionism of the company and the efforts of black union activists to bring civil rights issues into the workplace. His analysis clearly demonstrates that without federal intervention, workers at Hughes Tool would never have been able to overcome management's opposition to unionization and to racial equality. Drawing on interviews with many of the principals, as well as extensive mining of company and legal archives, Botson's study "captures a moment in time when a segment of Houston's working-class seized the initiative and won economic and racial justice in their work place."
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afﬁliated African Americans beneﬁts black workers C. W. Rice certiﬁcation election CIO’s city’s civil rights Columbus Henry committee company unions company’s contract Davis’s December decision EWO and HTC Exhibit February federal ﬁle ﬁled ﬁnancial ﬁrst grievance Grovey Houston Chronicle Houston Informer Houston Labor Messenger Houston Negro Labor Houston Post Houston Public Library Howard Hughes Hughes Tool Company Ianuary Ibid IMW’s Independent Metal Workers independent union industrial Intermediate Report interviewed by author Iuly Ivory Davis Jim Crow Kuldell’s Labor Board labor unions machinists maintenance of membership management’s manufacturing Metal Workers Union NARACP NARASRFW negotiations NLRB November NWLB ofﬁce ofﬁcers Ofﬁcial Report ofthe organized labor percent plant president race racial discrimination racial segregation racism Ramsey Richard Guess RNLRB RNWLB Robert Carter segregated Steel Steelworkers Streetman strike strikebreakers T. B. Everitt Texas Tom Davis Tool’s unionists vote wage Wagner Act