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Supplementary Statement GUS TYLER Although in full agreement with the primary thrust of the committee report, ~ am submitting this separate, albeit concurring, opinion for inclusion as an addendum. ~ am impelled to do so because the report, committed as it is to responding to the formal charge, does not offer an adequate strategy to cope with a continuing inequity in the wage and salary structure of the nation; namely, the gap between the average earnings of men and women. The formal charge was to "study the principles and procedures used in determining compensation for work in the United States" Path a special eye on discriminator>' practices, based on sex, race, or national ongin. What the committee found was a vast variety of systems, with a craz>' quilt of criteria, whose ultimate outcome-for the society as a whole show ed ~ omen earning substantially less than men although the attributes required to do their work were, on the average, comparable. The report finds that an important reason for this wage differential is the ghettoization of women in the economy, their concentration in occupations, trades' and professions in which compensation Is relatively low; and, within other categories, concentration in subclassifications in which compensation is low. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the report spell out and substantiate these findings and conclusions. Chapter 4 addresses Note: Mary C. Dunlap concurs with this statement. 107

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108 WOMEN, WORK, AND WAGES itself to wage adjustment strategies, an attempt to right the wrong. Here two approaches are offered for detecting discrimination "within a single Although the elimination of discrimination "within a single firm" is desirable and, in some cases, the remedy discussed may yield substantial results, the primacy problem of women in the American economy does not arise from intra-plant inequities, but from the maldistr~bution of women in the total economy. Me report does not address itself to this latter and crucial question-as it probably could not in view of its limited charge. It is for this reason that ~ asked the indulgence of the committee in permitting me these ob`ter dicta on proposed strategies to deal with the central problem of wage differentials between men and women in the society as a whole. ~ did not urge these strategies on the committee because they involve political, legislative, and union actions that are, by their nature, con- troversial and beyond the scope of the committee's defined jurisdiction. Nevertheless, at a time when wome~and others are seeking greater wage and salary equity, ~ believe it is a valuable public service to offer the following commentary as a contribution to a fruitful public dialogue. The key data on what has been happening to women in the economy are contained in Table 3, which shows the median annual income for full-time workers, tabulated by sex and race. It shows that white women are falling ever further behind white men. In 1955, the average income of white women was 65.3 percent of that of white men; by 1977, white women were earning only 57.7 percent as much as white men. Me decline in relative earnings of women was not sudden; it has been a slow continuing downward crawl, with slight oscillations along the descending line. How can we chaplain this decline in wages of the American working woman? If we ascribe the worsening status to '`discnniination," then we must conclude that pay discrimination against women is more severe today than a full generation ago. Such a conclusion, however, is believing what we are not seeing. Since the nud-I960s, equal pay for equal work has been the law and has been enforced. Lee law has also been interpreted to require equal pay for very similar work. In many cases, workers generally through their unions-have even been able to win comparable pay for "comparable work" within plants. Women also legally have equal access to jobs. In the light of all this, it seems commonsensicaDy improbable that the growing gap between the wages of white women and white men is due to growing '6discrim~nationt, against women workers. Ibe attempt to assign the cause primarily or exclusively to discrimi

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Supplementary Statement nation is further cast into doubt when we examine the relationship between the wages of black women and while men. In the last generation, black women have decisively improved their status ~ns-a-`ris white men. In 1955, black women earned about one-th~rd as much as white men; by 1977, they were earning more than half as much. As a consequence the earnings of black women have risen from about 50 percent of those of white women in 1955 to almost 95 percent in 1977. A final anomaly is the rise in earnings of black male workers ~s~a-~,is white male worker~from about 60 percent in 1955 to more than 70 percent in 1977. If we limit our search for cause solely to pay discrimination, we must conclude that discrimination against black men and women (especially women) was easing at a time when discrimination against white women was intensifying. If that seems uncomfortably odd, then we must look for other explanations of our data. Lee simplest explanation lies in the changing mix of employment in the American economy over the last generation. Me great expansion In the economy has been in those sectors in which pay is and traditionally has been relatively lo~primarily (although not exclusively) in the serv- ice sectors. It is precisely these lower-paying sectors that women have been entering in vast numbers as they leave their chores at home for employment in the labor market. The higher the percentage of women in the service and other low-paying sectors, the lower is their average wage as contrasted with that of men. The same explanation applies to the rise of black women workers. Many of those who were once em- ployed as domestics- among the lowest-paying of all trade~have moved into labor-intensive manufacture and service jobs in which wages are bow but still higher than those of household workers. In addition, millions of black women have relocated their employment from rural small town areas tO urban centers where wages and salaries are higher. As the jobs that black women hold become increasingly the same as those that white women hold, black women tend to earn the same as white women. The same explanation also applies to the improved rel- ative wage of black men, many of who~in the last generation have moved into construction, capital-intensive manufacture, and public cm- ployment, including posts of professional status. If this explanation of wage differentials for four major groups in society white men, white women, black men, and black wome~is Brazil, then the basic cause for the rising and falling gaps is not some malfunctioning job evaluation system in a plant but the maldistubution of these populations in the American economy. Theoretically, this maldistabution should be self correcting once there

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llo WOMEN, WORK, AND WAGES is equal access to jobs~regardless of race, creed, color, sex, age' or national origin. But, as the committee report so ably explains, there are cadless institutional barriers-geographic, psychologic, social, organi- zational, etc.-to the easy flow of individuals from one sector or sub- di~sion of the economy to another. For "equal access" to provide the ultimate remedy may require many generations. What is more, if the working population were redistributed, the pre- vailing inequities in pay would not be eliminated or even lessened: present injustices would merely be integrated by sex. An equal per- centage of women and men would now be consigned to the under-tier of our economy, to what in another essay ~ called "the other economy." Changing the sex, race, or national origin of the denizens of darkness does not bring light to those imprisoned in the smelly underbelly of our economy. As the years go by, we may expect that the gap between those In the top tier and those in the lower tier of the economy (heawly female and minority) wit] grow. Workers in the first tier not only have higher hourly wages, but they also get a higher percentage of fringe benefits on their high hourly base; workers in the second tier have lower hourly wages (50 percent less) and get a much smaller percentage in fringe benefits on their smaller base. Penods of inflation widen the gap rapidly. Workers in the first tier are more or less able to negotiate contracts or bargain individually to keep up with rising pnces: their employers are richer' more oligopolized, and sufficiently capital-intensive so as not to worry too much about pay levels to their key personnel. Workers in the second tier are unable to keep up: their employers are poorer, smaller, buffeted by competition, and dependent on labor-intensive production. The other difference is the degree of union~zatio~the upper tier is much more highly orga- n~zed than the lower tier. The result is that workers in the upper tier are able to keep up or even improve their real earnings in periods of inflation while workers in the lower tier fall further behind each year. If, then, redistribution of workers within the present economy is not the answer and if the present trend is toward a growing disparity in the income of workers in the two tiers, what strategies for greater equity can we pursue to offer some hope to the women {and minorities) tranDed In the lower depths? The following are a few suggestions. ~ -- Ore -- Minunum Wage The construction of a sturdy niinimum wage as a foundation for wages (and for our economy) Is so basic that the process ought to be only

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Supplementary Statement minimally a legislative function that depends on the composition or the calendar of a current Congress. The minimum wage ought to be indexed at something like 60 percent of the average manufacturing wage, on crating like a cost-of ng adjustment clause in a labor-management contract. (In fact, 60 percent is less than 60 percent because of the differences in fringe benefits.) Such a minimum wage should apply to all workers, regardless of race, sex, or age. To create a youth subniinimum or an aged submini~num or a female subminimum is just a form of discomunation ~ employment directed against the more vulnerable elements in the population. If certain workers deserve more because they perform better, they should be paid more by lifting them above the minimum and not by paying others less by depressing the minimum for the weakest categories of workers. . ~.~ Import Regulation A second measure to allow workers In labor-~ntensive manfacture to cIevate their wages is the regulator of imports. Competition from coun- ~nes wnere fine wages may run as low as one-tenth the wage of the Amencan worker keeps the domestic rate unnecessarily low. The ~QSS of jobs in labor-intensive manufacture is considerable and is clearly not balanced by a growth of jobs in capital-intensi~c manu- facture, such as steel and auto, where jobs are also threatened by im- ports. To regulate imports requires tariffs, quotas, and revision of the tax law to remove inducements for Amencan manufacturers to produce overseas. It is particularly important to repeal Item 807 of the Tariff Code that actively encourages Amencan companies to contract out much of their work to other countnes. Item 807 reduces the tariff on goods that are assembled in other lands if the component parts on~ate in the United States. In the apparel industry, for example, that means that if a company sends out goods across the border or overseas to be stitched, it may then bung the finished product back into the United States, while paying a very limited tariff merely on value added a sum that un low- ~rage countries is negligible. It is vain to expect that Amencan compames win overcome the import threat by Improvements in Amencan pro~luctivity, design, or merchan- dising. Most of the goods coming from abroad arc manufach~red under Amencan auspices, with Amencan companies supplying the design, the methods of production, and the merchandising. Amcncan braDd names arc inserted overseas since, in many cases, the total output of the over

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112 WOMEN, WORK, AND WAGES seas "contractor" is committed to an American manufacturer or retailer. Contracting work overseas is a way of holding down the pay of workers in manufacturing in the United States. Pant Removal Regulation This widespread practice leads to the closing of American plants, either to open a similar plant in some low-wage country overseas or to contract out the work, once done by an American contractor, to a foreign contractor. For workers employed in light labor-intensive manufacture such over- seas plant removal is but the continuation of a long history of "runaway" factories. In the past, such factories have generally run away from higher-wage to lower-wage areas within the United States. While such removals have caused considerable instability in employment and wage standards, the movements have been confined within the Amencan ambience of minimum wages, child labor laws, occupational safety guidelines, equal employment opportunities' etc. But when a plant moves overseas, it is exempt from all the civilizing circumstances of our Amencan culture and, in addition, is generally removed from union organization in lands that often forbid free unionism. The mere threat to move production overseas is a simple way to hold down the wage of the Amencan worker in light manufacturing. While the problem of plant removal is a threat to all Amencan man- ufacturing hitting communities as well as employee~light industry is more susceptible than heavy industry because there is a smaller invest- ment by labor-intensive production in fixed capital. For that reason, new legislation is required to cope with the growing threat of plant removal. Labor-Management Act Reform Just as plant removal hits labor-~ntensive industry harder than capital- intensive industry, so too does the deterioration of the Wagner Labor- Management Act hit workers In the secondary economy harder than those in the primary. The "other economy" is rife tenth small, unstable, fly-by-night liens, employing a high percentage of women and minor- itie~a combination of circumstances that makes unionization difficult. When, in addition, the law is weighted against labor (as it has come to be), the organization of people in the lesser economy is painfully dif- fiallt, adding still another wedge to widen the growing gap between the two economies. Labor law reform that would simply restore the spirit

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Supplementary Statement ~3 of the original Wagner Act would help the battle of those in the nether economy to stay abreast. A Social Wage To introduce a measure of greater equity between earnings in the two economies, there should be a continuance and extension of all those measures that supplement the traditional wage With a "social wage." By "social wage," we refer to rent supplements, medicare and meclica~6, food stamps, low-income subsidized housing, health care, social security, and the like. This social wage has, in our lifetime, made a profound difference In the lives of the poor in Amenca. According to a Congressional Budget Office study of January 1977 (Poverty Status of Families Under Alter- nanve Definitions of Incomes, if income were based solely on straight earnings more than one-quarter of the nation's families would be living In poverty as officially defined. When the venous kinds of "social wage" are adde~whether in cash or in kinrithe number of families living in poverty falls to 11.4 percent. A social wage is a way to introduce a modicum of justice in society's reward to workers who, despite their contributions to the society, are paid much less than other workers in more fortunate sectors of the economy. Mandatory Controls In a period of inflation, it is necessary to impose price controls mandator controls wages, pnces, and every other aspect of the economy amenable to such regulation. Such controls are an immediate must, even as we work toward longer-range policies to get at the root causes of inflation. The above measures are, by no means, a complete catalog of potential remedies. There are other perhaps more basi~proposals on how to elevate the earnings of women in the economy. If we really decided to develop supplementary (alternative) sources of energy and decided to do so with the "moral equivalent of war," we would certainly find a great shortage of workers in the construction trades to erect solar, wind, tidal, biomass, geothermal, etc., facilities. World War It's Rosie the Riveter would now become Sarah the Solar Installer. Women's wages would leap dramatically. Should we move as we are very likely to do~toward mandatory controls, wage guidelines could be set on a doRar-and~cents, rather than

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1.74 WOMEN, WORK, AND WAGES on a percentage. basis. Percentage guidelines advantage the already advantaged; fixed quantitative guidelines help narrow the gap between top and bottom. Still another strategy might consider subsidies to busi- nesses (usually small) in the competitive sector. Present subsidies to big business are so common that to extend the generosity to lesser entre- preneurs should hardly violate any sacred principles. The subsidy might indeed go directly toward paying wages. ~ offer these several suggestions because ~ believe it important that the work of our committee should not be considered to have ended in a cut de sac. We have pointed out the degree of the problem; we have probed the causes; we have wisely noted that there is no easy solution through a technical fix; we have appraised the value of job evaluation systems in specific circumstances. What ~ have tried to do is to argue that there are ways to cope with the problem-ways that may not prop- crly be before a committee of "scientists" but that are most appropriately before that committee of the whole known as the electorate.