Andrea Krill


IT IS UNDENIABLE that the inertia of the civil rights laws has speeded the progress of equal employment opportunity. Minorities and women at last have enjoyed some measure of increased job entries and upward mobility. The current recession threatens to reverse this process.

Seniority is the ambrosia of the working classes conferring a kind of employment immortality in return for their efforts. Those who have drunk deeply from the cup are secure, for their longer service renders them impervious to the furies of economic change. In many instances, those who have merely whetted their thirst are the more recently hired women and minorities. Seniority offers them only partial protection; when a slowing economy necessitates layoffs, they must be cast out according to the sacred "last hired, first fired" rule.