District 65 Will Try to Organize Again
Union Will Request New Election
District 65, the Distributive Workers of America, is once again trying to bring Harvard's Med Area workers into its union.
Leslie A. Sullivan, organizer for District 65 Medical Area Organizing Committee, said Wednesday that despite last year's defeat in a unionizing election, the union "will continue to be very active in the Medical Area, especially since the vote last year was so close."
Harvard Medical Area workers decided by a 100-vote margin not to join the union last June, after three years of organizing efforts by District 65.
Sullivan said the union will ask the National Labor Relations Board to authorize another election as soon as the union obtains a majority of Med Area workers to support the union petition, as the NLRB requires.
She added she expects to file for election within the next few months.
Sullivan said she believed the timing of the lection and Harvard's "intense campaign against the union" contributed to District 65's defeat.
The University last spring mounted a drive to persuade Med Area workers to vote against joining the union.
June is traditionally a month of large turnover for workers, and many workers who originally supported district 65 had left by the time of the election, Sullivan said.
Edward W. Powers, associate general counsel for employee relations, declined Wednesday to comment on the union's organizing efforts.
Three Years Old District 65's organizing efforts began three years ago and have faced consistently stiff opposition from the University. Through a seriies of legal appeals, Harvard delayed a union election on the grounds that the Medical Area clerical and technical workers did not form a separate geographical unit and so had to seek representation within a University-wide bargaining unit.
Last May, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed its own earlier ruling upholding Harvard's position. The new ruling allowed a unionizing election last June.
The University then launched an extensive campaign to present its position against the union. The campaign included frequent meetings with Med Area workers and distribution of leaflets questioning District 65's past effectiveness in winning concessions.