ERIC Number: EJ706324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep-1
Reference Count: 3
A Union of Railroad Workers Sets the Pace
Pullman, A. Philip Randolph
Social Education, v68 n5 pS10 Sep 2004
During the century spanning the years 1868-1968, the African-American railroad attendant's presence on the train became an American tradition. By the 1920s, a peak decade for the railroads, more than twenty thousand African-Americans were working as porters, providing a variety services for passengers on the sleeping cars. The railroad was the largest employer of black labor at that time in the United States and Canada. Other jobs held by African Americans were dining car waiters, chefs, and track layers. The Pullman Porters organized and founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) in 1925. The BSCP was the very first African-American labor union to sign a collective bargaining agreement with a major U.S. corporation. A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979) was the determined, dedicated, and articulate president of this union who fought to improve the working conditions and pay for the Pullman Porters. During this era, the railroad companies were among the most powerful corporations in the nation. This article briefly describes how the BSCP formed and offers questions for discussion.
Descriptors: African Americans, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Transportation, Unions, Labor, Collective Bargaining, Foreign Countries
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States