Minority Construction Worker Testifies to EEOC About Discriminatory Practices On Union Job Sites
At a time when there is a severe shortage of construction-industry workers and unions are trying to rebrand and rebuild their membership base, the lack of diversity in the construction industry continues to be a problem.
Although it has improved slightly in recent years, in certain major metropolitan areas—like Philadelphia—sexism and racism in the building trades has been a problem for decades.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), held a virtual hearing to examine discrimination based on race, national origin, and sex in construction and consider potential solutions to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sector.
Among the speakers were two union members, one of whom was Japlan “Jazz” Allen, Treasurer & Iron Worker, Chicago Women in Trades.
While the meeting lasted over four hours, Ms. Allen’s testimony (at 3:12) was enlightening as to some of the problems that women and minorities run into while trying to advance within unions in the construction industry.