Consequently, the difference in wages between caucasian and Chinese railroad laborers, if any, seems to have been fairly small. The Chinese CPRRworkers were responsible for their own food, but the railroad was not capable of supplying a diet of Chinese food, as this was completely unfamiliar at the time. Small difference in wages that may have existed could have just reflected labor market conditions or differences in occupational categories. It seems that the Chinese were graders, and tunnel blasters, while the caucasians were carpenters and track layers. Even today it is unlikely that there is uniformity in pay between these varying job positions. Of course, since the occupations were different according to race, this from a modern perspective seems unfair, but because the end of track where the grading and blasting took place was in a different location from the bridge and snowshed construction, and the track laying, combined occupation crews would not have been possible, and also likely impractical due to the language difference. Even from a modern perspective, it is not clear that small differences in worker compensation if related to differences in location, work performed, and dietary preferences would necessarily be considered discriminatory.
When someone makes an historical claim, the burden of factual proof is entirely theirs – and when supporting primary source documentation is lacking there is no need for others to attempt to disprove a conjecture. What actual primary source evidence have you found that the Chinese were "not treated ... as well as their Caucasian counterparts" by the railroad?
According to the Library of Congress, there are no known surviving 19th century Chinese accounts of their experience in California. Comparing what little we know about their treatment by the CPRR versus the virulent anti-Chinese prejudice expressed in 19th century newspapers, magazines, and laws, it seems far more likely that the Chinese workers were treated well by the railroad according to 19th century standards, and that their treatment by the railroad was much better and fairer than the treatment that Chinese were likely to have received generally in 19th century California. The Central Pacific Railroad experience consequently is an excellent example, not of discrimination, but of market forces preventing discrimination despite the , and whichby experience they later concluded (see above) were completely erroneous.


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