Labor in the Peace Corps


Material Information

Labor in the Peace Corps
Physical Description:
12 p : ill. ; 23 cm.
Peace Corps (U.S.)
Peace Corps
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Labor -- International cooperation   ( lcsh )
Volunteers -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 027371554
oclc - 55506812
System ID:

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The roads were falling apart and so was the
heavy equipment used to maintain them .
It started when independence came to Tunisia
in 1956 and most of the French mechanics who
had kept the machinery clicking left the country.
There were still trained Tunisian mechanics, but
just not enough to go around.
The new government asked for help and the
Peace Corps sent it. Volunteer mechanics
brought skills and emphasized the idea that
heavy equipment would run better and longer
if you maintained it and didn't wait until it
broke down.

Today, Tunisia's highway building program is
moving. The equipment that makes this possible
is serviced by Peace Corps Volunteers-mechan-
ics who are also giving on-the-job training to
Problems such as Tunisia faced with its roads
and equipment are being faced in developing
countries all over the world.
The needs for men who can build, repair and
teach their skills to others are staggering. These
countries must have help from Volunteers with
all levels of skill-from backyard tinkering to
journeymen machinists, mechanics, bricklayers,
carpenters, electricians, welders, pipefitters-you
name it, they need them.

They need men from the ranks of American
labor. They need these trade unionists in three
major fields: training workers in industry and
machine shops, working and advising in con-
struction, and teaching in vocational schools.
Since the Peace Corps began in 1961, it has
been responding to requests from 46 nations.
More than 14,000 Americans-including hun-
dreds of trade unionists-have become Volun-
teers to answer these requests.
These men and women Volunteers have learn-
ed new languages and gained new educational
and professional opportunities as a result of their
service in another land.
And now there is more need than ever before.
The Peace Corps has turned increasingly to
organized labor to answer these requests. It
has sought, and is seeking, ways of allowing
the American worker to spend two years over-
seas helping other peoples without penalizing
himself in terms of his job and financial security
back home.

More than 100 major corporations, and the
unions with which they bargain, agreed to grant
re-employment and seniority rights to employes
who join the Peace Corps. Final negotiations
are expected to swell this list to more than 300
leading American industries, and virtually every
affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
This close co-operation between Peace Corps
and the House of Labor was punctuated recently
by a conference, called by President Meany's
AFL CIO/Peace Corps Liaison Committee,
whose chairman is Joe Bierne, President of the
Communications Workers of America.
The entire business of this conference, and the
40 union representatives who participated, was
the implementation of Peace Corps projects over-
seas and the recruitment of craft and industrial
As Peace Corps representatives canvass Ameri-


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can industry, and their contracting unions, to
gain re-employment rights for workers who enter
Peace Corps service, the committee headed by
Mr. Bierne is working to get the Peace Corps
message to the American labor movement.
One International Union president observed:
"The AFL-CIO was supporting Peace Corps 50
years before the idea was conceived!" And
Peace Corps responded, "Yes; and we were still
an agency on paper when we first sought active
help from the House of Labor."
Although most Peace Corps Volunteers have
come from the campuses of colleges and uni-
versities, the percentage of skilled craftsmen

recruited from industry is growing and will con-
tinue to grow.
Peace Corps is a "hand-tool" people-to-people
aid program that offers to developing countries
America's most precious asset-the expertise of
her craftsmen, her teachers, her farmers, her
The symbol of the AFL-CIO is the clasped
hands of brotherhood. Peace Corps interprets
this symbol also as hands across the sea, one
guiding and teaching, the other learning and de-
veloping its own skill, to be passed on in the
time-honored tradition of artisan and apprentice.
The AFL-CIO Executive Council has adopted
the following endorsement:
"At the request of 46 emerging nations of
Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Peace Corps
has sent Volunteers abroad to share their skills, to
gain a greater understanding of the world and by
word and deed to represent what America really
is. During the next year, 10,000 Volunteers will
be working overseas.
"AFL-CIO has given the Peace Corps its
hearty endorsement and support. The Peace
Corps has conducted an active recruitment pro-
gram on college campuses but not among union
members, although the demands on the Peace
Corps for skilled and semi-skilled workers has
been growing. To meet this expanding need, the
Peace Corps is stepping up its efforts to recruit
skilled and semi-skilled worker Volunteers.
"The AFL-CIO Executive Council reaffirms its
wholehearted support of the Peace Corps and
calls on affiliated unions to cooperate with the
Peace Corps in its efforts to enlist the interest of
skilled and semi-skilled workers in service over-

Who were the Peace Corps mechanics in
Tunisia? What did they do before volunteering
for overseas service?
A few had been mechanics. But most of them
came from other occupations. Some worked in

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stores, others on assembly lines in large factories
and still others had been students. All of them
had something that showed they could handle
mechanical problems.
Three months of Peace Corps training turned
these people into mechanics. (We also taught
them the basics of two new languages: French
and Arabic; gave them studies in international
and North African affairs and refreshers in U.S.
Similar training programs are turning Ameri-
cans into skilled technicians who serve in coun-
tries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In Malaysia, Volunteers are teaching carpen-
try, metalworking, masonry, mechanics and ma-
chine maintenance in rural trade schools. A
similar program is under way in Nigeria.
Throughout Latin America, Peace Corps Vol-
unteers are using construction trades skills to
build infirmaries for people who have never seen
a doctor, schools for children who have never
seen a classroom and conduits for towns that
have never known an accessible supply of clean

auto mechanics
air-conditioning repairmen
ceramic workers
clerical workers
construction supervisors
and helpers
diesel mechanics
draftsmen and surveyers
electronic technicians
engineering technicians
farm machinery mechanics
heavy equipment
heavy equipment operators

instructors-all levels
mechanics-all types
operating engineers
radio-TV technicians
sheet metal workers
steel workers
structural iron workers
textile workers
vocational teachers-all
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You must be a iu.b. citizen, at least to years omu.
There is no upper age limit. Good health is a necessary
prerequisite but Peace Corps physical standards are
Married couples with no dependents under 18 are
encouraged to apply. Both must, however, qualify as
Volunteers. They will be assigned to the same project.
You do not have to know a foreign language.
Don't be deterred because you think you lack neces-
sary skills. Many people tend to underestimate their
: Submit a Peace Corps Volunteer application. Sub-
mission pf an application in no way obligates you.
Your final decision will come at the time you are invited
Sto train. :::' "
Take the Peace Corps Placement Test. There is no
passing or failing grade. It is a tool to aid the Peace
Corps in-evaluating your capabilities.
YOU WLL 1 I .. At an American college or
university. Perhaps half of your normal 10 to 12-week
training period will be concentrated on the language
of the country in which you will serve. Modern labora-
tory techniques will give you a working fluency in
one of 42 different languages, from Amharic to Swahili.
A NORMAL TOUR Including training, will last
,_ b4~.-to 27 months. If you choose, you may extend
4*tur ~. rie up to one year, or re-enroll for another
'," two 'yayrPi the same, or a different country.
YOU WI ItB,, PAID ... An allowance to cover food,
clothing, fbssiiag and incidentals. Medical care and
S6 rin~portatibn .are provided by Peace Corps. For the
duratfih of youar service, you accumulate a readjust-
S ment allowance of $75 monthly. You may allot from
This allowance in some instances. The allowance is sub-
' c"ject-to U.S. taxes only.
A. .M IiTAA Y OBLIGATION Is not satisfied by
Peace Corps service. However, Volunteers are deferred
for the duration of their assignments.
from Peace Corps, Washington, D. C. 20525; from the
Peace Corps Liaison Officer on your college or uni-
versity campus; from your Civil Service Commission
Office; or from your local post office.


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