Craft Strike Looms As Talks Deadlock
Contract negotiations between the University and the Crafts Maintenance Council, which represents 350 University employees, have reached a point of impasses, and a strike appears imminent.
"We're doing all we can under the government guidelines," Stephen S.J. Hall, Vice President for Administration, said yesterday. "We try to negotiate in good faith, but you'd have to consider our proposal to the Crafts Council as a final offer," Hall said.
The previous agreement between the University and the Crafts Council expired on December 7.
On December 13, the University received written notices that the Council, which is the bargaining agent for University carpenters. Painters, plumbers, electricians, and operating engineers, was not going to renew its current contract with the University.
Negotiations between the University and the Crafts Council culminated in a new contract proposal. University sources would not reveal the details of the offer.
Under the Crafts Councils working agreement, any contracts offer must be approved by the rank-and-file of all five of the unions represented by the Council.
Craft Council officials were unavailable for comment yesterday, but a painter employed by the University who wished not to be identified said that the painters' union rejected the University's contract offer and authorized a strike vote at a meeting Monday night.
A University source, who also asked not to be identified, said that members of the carpenter's local met last Wednesday and also voted to reject the University offer.
Under the terms of the current agreement between the University and the Crafts Council, a'30-day grace period during which workers cannot legally strike nor can employers enforce a lockout follows written notice of termination of the contract agreement. That grace period expires on Thursday.