Advertisement

OBU, Administration Meet on Black Demands

The first meeting yesterday afternoon of the ten-member "implementation committee" -set up during the Organization of Black Unity (OBU) seizure of University Hall last week to discuss OBU demands-left OBU spokesmen optimistic about a satisfactory resolution of the painter's helper demand.

"The painter's helper problem is well underway to solution," one spokesman said last night. He said that yesterday's meeting was used primarily to finalize details of the agreement reached during the building takeover.

OBU has demanded that Harvard abolish the category of "painter's helper," and raise the wages of present helpers to that of painters.

According to the OBU spokesman, the committee-five OBU members and five Administration presentatives, including Archibald O x, professor of Law, and L Gard Wiggins, administrative vice-president-did not discuss OBU demands relating to construction workers.

He added, however, that the "main point of contention" between the two groups was the OBU demand that 20 percent of all construction workers employed by Harvard be black or "third world."

Cox refused last night to comment on any aspect of the meeting.

The tentative agreement on the painter's helpers issue, as outlined by OBU spokesmen leaves Harvard until Thursday to promote those helpers it chooses to; the others may then be promoted by a special committee-also set up during the occupation-including three members of the Contractors Association of Boston (CAB) and three members of OBU.

While there is no assurance that this committee will in fact promote all the helpers, it seems likely, according to OBU spokesmen.

The three OBU members of this committee-Erna A. Ballantine. former chairman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; Harold Washington, lecturer in Afro-American Studies: and Derrick A. Bell, lecturer at the Law

School-are also members of the implementation committee.

According to OBU, the CAB has agreed to the abolition of the painter's helper category. The decision will be final as soon as new contracts are drawn up.

No decisions on punishment for the Dec, 5 occupation were reached at the meeting. However, Cox said last night that he didn't "rule out the possibility of disciplinary action in the future."

"We do not intend to let our actions be determined by any form of coercion by the Administration." an OBU press release said. "Our objectives were to get the University to move off dead center, which they did."

"The agreement reached Friday after a six-hour work stoppage by black people demonstrates again that white institutions seem unable to respond to the just needs of black people unless they are threatened." the statement said. "And it should teach a lesson to those who say they cannot understand the tactic of black people."

"We were not trying to create a situation of disruption for the sake of disruption," the statement continued. "We will meet today with the implementation committee, and we hope that they are willing to act in good faith."

The implementation committee will meet again next Wednesday a 1:30 p.m.

Advertisement