PALM BEACH, Fla (Feb. 5)
The nation’s six leading oil companies discriminate against the employment of Jews in their corporate headquarters, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith charged here on the basis of a two-year investigation it conducted into the employment practices of Exxon, Texaco, Mobil, Standard Oil of California, Gulf and Shell oil companies.
It claimed further that those companies are protected by the federal government’s failure to enforce regulations intended to eliminate discrimination based on religion or national origin. No immediate reaction was available from the oil firms.
The findings of the study were revealed by Ira Gissen, director of ADL’s discrimination department, in an address at the agency’s national executive committee meeting at the Breakers Hotel. He said he was publicizing the report in the hope that it would lead to swift action by the government and the oil industry to eradicate “this hideous stain on the moral fabric of our nation.”
Gissen spelled out what he called “classic discrimination” on the executive level among the oil companies. It includes “recruitment avoidance, promotion levels beyond which Jews cannot go, non-assignment of Jews to certain job areas and stereotyped employment.”
According to the ADL report, most of the Jewish employes interviewed “indicated that they had little hope for advancement within their companies despite good educational background and on-the-job records.” The report charged that federal compliance officers have in most cases not even bothered to ask companies whether they were doing anything to comply with the religion and national origin guidelines contained in Title 41, Section 60 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is supposed to monitor the enforcement of Title 41.
FEDERAL REGULATIONS LARGELY IGNORED
In that connection, the ADL said it found that federal regulations requiring implementation of equal employment opportunity on the basis of religion have been largely ignored. The report quoted Weldon Rogeau, director of the OFCCP as saying “We have not done very much about religious and national origin discrimination. Anyone who examines the record of the last four or five years would have to admit that this office has not given this type of discrimination a very high priority.”
Although federal regulations require that corporations must make reasonable allowances for their employes’ religious needs such as Sabbath observance, the ADL said the oil companies do not make such provisions, “signaling that they do not care because they have few Jewish employes and do not want any more.”
Gissen said that discrimination against Jews is reinforced by the fact that the oil companies subsidize their executives’ membership in restricted clubs which serve as business meeting places. Therefore, Jews are denied promotion opportunities because they are denied membership in such clubs. Corporate support of discriminatory clubs serves as a clear signal to Jews that they have limited job opportunities in the oil companies, he said.
Gissen suggested that the employment of Jews in such departments as legal, accounting and research was “stereotyped.” He said the Arab boycott may have encouraged the oil companies doing business in Arab states not to change their employment practices affecting Jews.