For Black History Month, we wanted to highlight the effect of African-Americans on the Work Industry. One great and little known example of this was union “The Brotherhood of Sleeping Cars” and their impact on the Labor Rights industry.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) was founded in 1925 by Asa Philip Randolph, a prominent civil rights leader. The BSCP was the first black labor union and the first to negotiate a contract with a major American corporation , the Pullman Company. The purpose of the union was to improve the working and living conditions of African-American Pullman porter a who worked on the luxurious Pullman cars, which provided overnight train service throughout the United States.
The economic and political power of the union was demonstrated when the BSCP achieved a collective a bargaining agreement with the Pullman porters and maids who worked on the luxurious Pullman cars, which provided overnight train service throughout the United States. The economic and political power of the union was demonstrated when the BSCP achieved a collective bargaining agreement with the Pullman Company in 1937.
The agreement established a minimum wage, prohibited discrimination on the basis of race or gender, established a grievance procedure, and provided vacation and holiday pay for Pullman employees. The Agreement also provided protection for the porters as employees of the company who could not be fired without cause.
The success of the BSCP established a path for other African-American labor unions and civil rights activism in the 20th country. In the 1956, the BSCP merged with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) and became the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Laundry and Hotel Workers, a powerful force in civil rights activism.
The founding of this labor union set the foundation for Labor Unions across the country and set the standard for labor relations policy that has been utilized in the work industry to this day.