According to the New York Times, rooting out discrimination in union hall hiring in New York Harbor is nearly as hard as rooting out corruption. The longshoremen’s union has again defied government order last week, refusing to send a representative to a mandatory hearing and making the stunning announcement that the Waterfront Commission had no authority to demand that all hiring be done without discrimination. Put another way, the ILA is exerting the right to continue to discriminate at its own discretion.
The commission has been pushing for years for a more diverse workforce on the docks; union hiring halls are sending in a workforce that is 80% white and male and not at all reflective of the neighborhoods surrounding the docks. The ILA has also been accused of assigning work to less qualified less experienced white males over several well qualified experienced persons of color who also applied.