While the unions have an unequaled opportunity to abolish discrimination and build brotherhood on the job, the over-all task of assuring equality of economic opportunity is primarily a public one.
Heretofore, equality of opportunity has been in the anomalous position of cornerstone of the American ideal--but without any legal status. While countless individual members of minority groups have sought and found opportunity in America, minority groups as a whole have been subjected to all manner of discriminations in employment. And they have had no recourse at law. As Westbrook Pegler has pointed out, it has been the privilege of employers to "look a man in the face" and refuse to hire him solely because of his race, creed, or national origin.
There is a great deal that the unions can do to abolish such discrimination. As has been pointed out, the CIO has already taken the lead in urging its unions to use their collectivebargaining power to secure contractual guarantees that employers will not discriminate in hiring or upgrading. But in the final analysis, the assurance of equal job opportunity is a public re-, sponsibility, which can and should be met by all levels of government. So far, New York City, New York State, and New Jersey have enacted anti-discrimination laws, and have found them altogether salutary. But such laws are most needed where they are least likely to be enacted--in the South.
The duty of the federal government in this matter is clear. Although there is nothing in the Constitution that makes real the