The Philadelphia Plan - 1970
As part of its effort to lift the economic status of blacks, the Nixon Administration has sponsored a controversial program to help them obtain more well-paid jobs in construction. …
Under the "Philadelphia Plan," so called because it was first tried in that city, contractors bidding on federally aided projects costing $500,000 or more must make a serious effort to increase the number of blacks among their new employees from about 5% now to 25% in five years. Since the plan was put into effect last August by Labor Secretary George Shultz, union leaders and other opponents have attacked it on somewhat ironic grounds. They argue that it violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial quotas in hiring.
Labor Secretary Shultz publicly scolded the A.F.L.-C.I.O. for its opposition to the Philadelphia Plan. Assistant Secretary Arthur A. Fletcher called the plan "our last chance to narrow the income-distribution gap between whites and blacks." As Congress raced toward adjournment, the House went along with the Administration and finally rejected [a] crippling amendment, 208-156, and the Senate concurred in a midnight vote, 39-29.
From Time magazine, “Labor: A narrow victory for blacks” January 5, 1970.