Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Department of Social Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mack Jones


The primary intent of this thesis is to set forth descriptively and analytically, the racial practices of organized labor in the building and construction trades. Primary emphasis will be placed on the skilled segment of this trade, i.e., electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers and pipe fitters, rather than the trowel trades which includes latherers, brick mason, etc. In the construction industry, trade unions racial practices are the decisive factor in determining the status of Black workers. The basic operational characteristic of craft union in the building trade is that they control access to employment by virtue of their rigid control of the hiring process. In this industry labor unions control the assignment of union members to jobs. The refusal to admit Blacks into membership denies Black workers the opportunity to secure employment. The materials for this study came mainly from civil rights and union organization records and interviews and newspapers. Also, a wide variety of secondary information, books, and periodicals were used.