On August 28, 1969, the Central Contractors Association, led by electrician Tyree Scott (1940-2003), pickets county construction projects to protest underemployment of blacks in the building industry. Later, three white assailants beat one of the picketers, Hank Roney.
The Central Contractors Association formed in May to press for a larger share of local construction business for blacks. The organization faced 15 Washington building trades unions representing some 29,000 workers that, as of 1966, had only seven non-white apprentices, according to the Washington State Board of Discrimination. The CCA put aside litigation strategies and used direct action to effect change. According to Trevor Griffey, the organization
"brought every major, federally funded construction site in the city of Seattle to a halt in late August and September of 1969. They did this -- as other activists were doing in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Chicago at roughly the same time -- by disabling equipment, blocking workers from their jobs, and demanding that federal civil rights law be used to force unions to hire more black workers" (Griffey).
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 273; Trevor Griffey, "UCWA History," Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project website (http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/ucwa_history.htm).
Note: This essay was expanded on July 22, 2005, and the name of the organization was corrected on January 30, 2009.
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You