King Presents Legislation To Prevent 'Union-Busting'
State Rep. Mel King said yesterday he will soon introduce legislation to the State House that would deny state funds to universities using "labor-busting" consultation firms--a measure King believes would affect the labor policies of Boston University (B.U.).
The B.U. administration has "wasted thousands of dollars to fight unions" and has harassed workers at the B.U. student health clinic, King said at a press conference held yesterday.
King said the legislation is a "late-filed petition, broadening in effect legislation we attempted to get through last year," which would have denied state funds to hospitals using anti-labor practices.
B.U. President John R. Silber said yesterday that the university has "never used funds to suppress union activities." B.U.'s consulting firms have never advised the university to violate the National Labor Relations Act, he added.
The university fired several employees of the B.U. student health clinic in 1975 for participating in a grievance meeting of health clinic employees, Patti F. Schiffer, one of the employees fired, said yesterday.
Schiffer said she appealed the firing and returned to her job after reinstatement by a circuit court decision.
Elizabeth W. Hirsh, another health clinic employee fired for participating in the grievance meeting, returned to work after Schiffer as a result of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision, Schiffer said.
After Hirsh returned, the university installed a new supervisor to write reports only on Hirsh and Schiffer, denied Hirsh and Schiffer access to the infirmary and refused to permit them to "go to the john except for lunch and break time," Schiffer said.
Re-hired and Re-fired
The university fired Hirsh and Schiffer for the second time on February 6, Schiffer said, adding that she is contemplating contempt-of-court action against B.U.
Since 1975, 50 members of the health clinic staff have left the university, Schiffer said.
Silber said yesterday that the university is not violating the law by disagreeing with the NLRB ruling because the NLRB is subject to judicial review. B.U. is "relying on its constitutional rights," Silber said.
Wilbur Hemperly, director of the health clinic, declined to comment yesterday on the firings.
At yesterday's press conference, Local 925 of the Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, announced that it would support King's legislation, stating that the union has met with "undue delays and other union-busting ploys" at B.U.
(In another controversial development at B.U., the student newspaper "the b.u. exposure" charged this week that university officials have solicited financial contributions from students applying to the B.U. Law and Medical Schools. See story on page 5.)