Harvard Club Of New York Settles Strike

The Harvard Club of New York and its 130 striking employees announced yesterday that they had negotiated an end to a bitter six-month strike that attracted national media attention.

Representatives of the Harvard Club, the Local 6 of the Hotel, Restaurant & Club Employees and the Bartenders Union issued a statement calling the settlement "a fair and reasonable settlement of a dispute that has gone on for far too long."

"We're very pleased that this has been resolved," Michael G. Yamin '53, the Club official in charge of overseeing day-to-day operations, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

"It's a win for the union and a win for us. We're just looking forward to having everybody come back and going on from here," Yamin said.

Under the agreement, the Harvard Club will give employees periodic wage increases that will average $87 a week over the 64-month period of the new contract. The pay increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the year, when the old contract expired.

Club officials said they expect to save approximately $300,000 from the increased efficiency of club operations that will be possible under the new contract.

The agreement also includes a voluntary reduction in staff through Club-paid buyouts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per individual.

"They got what was most important to them, and we got what was most important to us," Yamin said.

Last spring, union officials charged the club with using strong-arm tactics against the strikers--including having workers dump water on the picketing employees.

Club officials had complained that the picketing was disrupting business and disturbing the surrounding neighborhood.

"This has been a long and difficult period for Harvard Club members and Harvard Club employees," said Donald L. Shapiro '57, Harvard Club president. "We are pleased that we have been able to achieve the flexibility we need to manage the costs of operating the Club."

Vito Pitta, the business manager of Local 6, called the strike a "long and difficult struggle."

"We have reached an agreement that we firmly believe is fair to both parties," Pitta said. "There are no give-backs. Our members look for- ward to returning to their jobs."

Yamin said the club and the union were able to resolve the strike more quickly because both agreed to use a private mediating service to help craft a resolution.

"We all genuinely tried to work it out," Yamin said. "But, it finally took the intervention of the mediation service, and involving the president of the union personally."

The agreement, made public yesterday afternoon, was reached last Friday, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

"The most important thing from our point of view is that it's over," Yamin said