The Boston-area distributor of Gallo wines went to court yesterday to try to stop the picketing which has in recent months hit local stores--including the Harvard Provision Co.
The suit, filed by C. Pappas Co. Inc. and the Avenue Liquor Mart Inc. of Fresh Pond, charges that the United Farm Workers and the Harvard Boycott Support Committee have organized illegal picket lines in their attempts to enforce a nation- wide UFW-sponsored boycott of Gallo wines.
Nicholas Jones, a UFW workers, and Mary M. Lassen '75, a member of the Boycott Committee, are defendants in the suit both as individuals and as representatives of their organizations.
Jones and Lassen both received notices yesterday requiring them to appear before a three-judge panel in Suffolk Country Superior Court at 10 a.m. on November 21.
No Damages Sought
Pappas is seeking only an injunction against picketing and the suit does not include criminal charges or seek damage payments. If the Pappas suit is successful, picketing against all Boston-area liquor stores would be illegal. If only the Avenue Liquor Mart suit wins, the picketing would only be banned at that store.
Jack Pappas, head of C. Pappas Co., was unavailable for comment last night, but he said on October 21 that he has "a suitcase full of complaints" from retailers who have faced picketing.
He said then he was considering a request for an injunction, but did not file until yesterday.
Lassen, who has been active organizing support for the UFW boycott against the Harvard Provision Co. on Mt. Auburn St., said she had been expecting a suit, but did not expect to be named as a defendant.
She said she intends to fight against an injunction and added, "I am confident the picket lines I've been on have been legal."
Jones, who has had a great deal of experience in court battles involving labor disputes, said last night he is glad to go to court and promised "We're going to beat them."
"They're trying to make a case out of us harrassing customers, and breaking windows," Jones said. "Well, they're going to be surprised in front of a three-judge panel."
He explained that the Pappas suit is similar to a suit the A & P Co. brought against the UFW last year. "They invested $50,000 in that case," Jones said. "And when we got into court we kicked their pants. All our activity is perfectly legal."
The UFW and several support committees throughout the Boston area have been picketing for several months against stores selling Gallo wines, but only the Harvard Support Committee was named in the suit.
"Maybe they see Harvard as more important than it is," Lassen said about Pappas's choice. "But I also don't think the other picketing efforts have gotten as much coverage as the one at Harvard."