This complaint was made through Mr. Milton P. Webster of COFEP. The persons complaining are: Messrs. Donald James, Robert Gitten, Raymond Bright and Wallace Wiggins. All of them signed a joint statement that they had seen an advertisement published for the company in the Daily Mirror asking for wiremen and assemblers.
My conference was with Mr. J. A. Nelson, Personnel Manager. He represents both companies and stated that, although the men mentioned International Telephone in their complaint, they really had responded to a request for men to be assigned to Federal Telegraph. He insisted that the four men were not qualified and showed me their application cards. I made no comment. He was unable to explain why the individuals were told: “We are not hiring any colored as yet.” I asked this question specifically. Mr. Nelson also said that he did not see how these men could afford to commute from New York to New Jersey. He did not adequately explain why the company advertises in New York papers for workers if it does not expect to take people from there. He said that some people are gotten from New York or persons living outside of New York “read the papers.” It is interesting to note that from Mr. Nelson’s own statement, the order for wiremen and assemblers has been in his hands since September 10, 1941, and he has not yet completed it. The request is for twenty-five workers and he has only been able to get fifteen.
Negroes are not employed by either concern. Each of the plants has about 1100 persons, according to Mr. Nelson. Although he professed to be interested in the hiring of colored people, he did not appear to have any plans for doing anything about his stated convictions. I would like to suggest that this case be handed back to COFEP for its New York hearings. If you do not agree, our office can continue contact with Mr. H. C. Reamer, Executive Vice-President. The firm has recently signed an agreement with Local 447 of the U.R.E.M.W. of the C.I.O.[2}