The union which represents Harvard's food service workers yesterday presented its evidence in a hearing at Holyoke Center that the University, by refusing to rehire a short-order cook it had fired in 1980, failed to comply with an arbitrator's.
In yesterday's hearing Local 26 of the AFL-CIO presented five witnesses supporting their position that Vladimir Arruda should be rehired after he was convicted of attempting to set fire to a local Portugese social club. He is currently on three years probation for attempted arson.
First Half of Process
Yesterday's hearing was only the first half of the arbitration procedure. Harvard will present its case early next week.
In original arbitration of the case, an arbitrator ruled that Arruda was an alcoholic and that the University was obligated to rehire him if he attended Alcoholics Anonymous for six months and presented food-service officials with weekly attendance slips to prove his participation in the program.
University officials have said that because Arruda failed to turn in the slips they have no evidence that he participated in the program and should not be forced to reinstate him.
Union officials, however, say that because Arruda is Portugese and has difficulty with English, he may not have undertood that he was required to turn in the forms. "The man did what he had to do. He rehabilitated himself." Domenic Bozzotto, the president of Local 26, said yesterday.
Bozzotto said the arbitration is important to the union because it is the first of its kind between the current Local 26 officials and Harvard. "It was important to show Harvard and the members of the union that we follow through on grievances."
University officials refused yesterday to comment on the case because it was still in progress. Harvard will present two witnesses at the continuation of the arbitration March 17.