To the Editors of The Crimson:
Harvard's outrageous suspension of shop stewards Sylvia gallagher, Alan Balsam and John Schaffer represents an escalation of its continuing assault on the campus labor movement. In an episode reminiscent of the Sherman Holcombe cauliflower controversy, the Harvard administration has again seized on a minor dispute--this time the question of where on the plate Alan Balsam should put hamburgers--as a pretext for purging the kitchen workers of their leaders and intimidating the rest of the local's membership. In addition to the suspensions, Harvard has docked all the workers who walked out in solidarity with Balsam two hours' pay and let fly a barrage of threats aimed at frightening workers into submission.
When Sherman Holcombe was under attack, a large number of students rallied to his defense, recognizing the reacist, anti-union character of Harvard's move to "suspend" him. It was again important that students solidly back the campus workers' walk-out against the Harvard administration. The scabbing by some 35 Harvard students reported in the May 26 Crimson (many of whom, fortunately, have stated they would not do so again) is deplorable. Not only is such anti-labor action reactionary on its face; students who scab are essentially dupes of the administration.
The kitchen workers' contract will expire on June 30, and Harvard will soon force many workers to survive on part-time wages over the summer. Thus, Harvard's attack on Gallagher, Balsam and Schaffer makes their strategy clear: crush all signs of militancy before the further aggravations of an insulting contract offer and a drastic reduction in income blow them into strike proportions, while purging the local of its leadership before contract negotations begin. As students depart for the summer, Harvard's anti-labor fist is poised for a decisive blow, and timed to provoke a minimum of public outcry. The solidarity of campus workers is an urgent necessity. This latest assault must be countered with demands for reinstatement of the suspended stewards with full back pay And for back pay for all workers docked for walking out. Stop the union-busting harassment! Craig Travis Spartacus Youth League
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