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THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld. Only letters under 400 words can be printed because of space limitations.)

To the Editor of the Crimson:

The impasse which has been reached in the negotiations between the University and its dining hall employees suggests that it would be a good idea to examine the cause of the difficulty.

The union wants the University to sign an agreement whereby all non-union employees hired by the University must apply for membership in the union at least thirty days after they are placed on the payroll. Such a system is known as the "preferential shop."

At first glance the preferential shop seems eminently unfair. It means that men who are opposed to unionism will be forced to join the union in order to get a job. But it must be remembered that a large majority of the dining room employees here are not opposed to unionism, and have, in fact, joined the union. If the advantages that they have already gained through their organization are to be safe-guarded, the future existence of the union must be assured through the preferential shop. Inevitably, then, the minority must bow to the will of the majority, for that is a necessary part of the American Democratic tradition.

It is, perhaps, unnecessary to point out the definite advantages which a strong organization among the employees here would bring to Harvard. Employers all over the country are beginning to discover that unions, when once firmly established, constitute efficient outlets for petty grievances. Unions clear the air, help both employer and employee to accept one another's point of view with greater tolerance. With this in mind we join with many another student in voicing the hope that the University and the union may soon come to an amicable understanding based on the preferential shop. John L. Saltonstall, Jr. '38.   Peter Seeger '40.

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