For the J.P. Stevens Co., Harvard is rapidly becoming enemy territory.
The national dispute over Stevens, the second-largest textile manufacturer in the U.S., came home to Cambridge this week, as over 250 people attended a rally in front of Memorial Church Wednesday to support the nationwide boycott of Stevens goods.
The botcott, designed to put financial pressure on Stevens to comply with labor and occupational safety laws, calls attention to "injustices which the company has committed against its workers," Roger W. Wallach '79, chairman of the Friends of the United Farm Workers, and an organizer of the rally, said this week.
Stevens currently employs over 45,000 workers in 85 plants, most of which are located in North and South Carolina. None of these workers are presently covered by union contracts.
Stevens has been convicted of violating the National Labor Relations Act over 100 times, as well as having been accused of defying health and safety codes in operating its plants, wire-tapping union organizers, and discriminating against minority groups in its employment practices.
Last year, the Harvard Coop agreed to stop selling Stevens's goods as a part of the boycott. Several other New England chains have also joined the boycott of Stevens's products, which include several lines of linen and men's clothing.