In a decision termed by University officials as "merely an adjustment," new status was accorded janitors and their assistants after more than two months of bargaining between Harvard and employees, represented by the H. U. E. R. A.
Key figures in the negotiations were believed to have been William Bunyon, president, and Wellington A. Bruce, secretary for the "inside union" and John W. Lowes '19, Financial Vice-President and Aldrich Durant '02, Business Manager for the University.
Reticent about disclosing the nature of the agreement, sources from University and Lehman Halls intimated that the bargain struck with the labor unit was the result of a prolonged argument, originating in July.
Adjustment of a 44-hour week and an average wage of $25 may be temporarily satisfactory, but it was learned yesterday that several independent employees had appealed to the A. F. of L. to wage a united front in behalf of better wages and working conditions.
A drop in janitors' pay from $29 to $23 during the summer is believed to have called forth the first protest and the subsequent negotiation between the union and the University. For the University Durant said that his office had been working for several years on discrepancies in wages and was glad to come to a settlement at this time.
Robert H. Everitt, international A. F. of L. organizer for the Building Service trades admitted that many janitors, still dissatisfied with the existing wage scale had implored his union to enter the field once again.
The A. F. of L., beaten at the polls last year in a special election decreed by State authorities, hesitated to accept the challenge Everitt said:
"Until such time as a substantial number apply that I feel certain of carrying out my intentions of last year, 1 will not be active in the University."
Everitt last spring threatened to renew his campaign this year to make Harvard the first university in the country to employ labor organized by a national union.