The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 35           October 13, 2003  
25 and 50 years ago
October 13, 1978
Going beyond last summer’s infamous Bakke ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Weber case challenges the right of unions to negotiate affirmative action programs to overcome employer discrimination in hiring and advancement.

At issue is an on-the-job training program for skilled jobs at Kaiser Aluminum. The program was negotiated by the United Steelworkers in 1974 and covers all Kaiser plants.

Under the plan, half of all trainee positions would go to minorities or women until a goal was reached based on the proportion of minority workers in the area of each plant. Kaiser’s Gramercy, Louisiana, plant had one of the highest goals—39 percent.

Brian Weber, a white, male worker at Kaiser Gramercy, sued to overturned the plan. He said it was “reverse discrimination.”

A federal district court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled in Weber’s favor. The courts held that Kaiser never discriminated against Blacks or women at Gramercy. Therefore the “voluntary” affirmative action plan was illegal. Employers cannot be forced to make up for general “societal discrimination,” the court declared.  
October 12, 1953
[The U.S.] State Department has made a deal with the hated fascist dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco [for military bases on Spanish territory].

The public deal is bad enough. But obviously there is a secret deal as well. U.S. News and World Report of Oct. 9 says, “Questioners are told, unofficially, that important matters are covered in unpublished agreements.”

We would like to pose some questions to the State Department, unofficially of course, about the secret deal with Franco:

What targets are being selected for atom-bombing from the air bases to be established in this fascist fortress? Specifically, if the workers of France, Germany, Italy, etc., or the people of Asia continue to develop their revolutions against capitalism, will their cities be bombed?

Is there a clause in the secret deal which guarantees Franco’s security from the revolution of the Spanish people in return for the air bases?

And one last question: Would the State Department dare to submit its deal with Franco (the open or secret edition) to a vote of the American people?  
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