The American Federation of Labor is making a strong 'bid to woo maids, janitors, and engineers from the local Harvard University Employees Representative Association, Francis M. McNamara, HUERA president, admitted yesterday.
McNamara charged that one of his most faithful subordinates, board member and prospective treasurer Donald G. Wray, had sold out to the AFL and had been working as an inside man to convince members to abandon the local union.
The HUERA head further revealed that Matthew J. McGrath, president of the AFL affiliated Building Service Employees International Union, had mailed form letters and petition cards to all University maids, janitors, and engineers, asking for an election between the HUERA and AFL.
Wray, who had been nominated unopposed for treasurer of the HUERA, announced last week that he was resigning in protest over the HUERA's weak handling of the maid situation. Actually, McNamara said, Wray had been forced out of the Harvard union.
"He was trying to sell the AFL to everybody, and he wasn't doing it for nothing; so we put it to him. 'Resign or we'll boot you out," the Weld Hall janitor and HUERA president said.
After Wray's resignation, McGrath said the AFL is waging the present campaign only because "an overwhelming number of people" have come to him personally to plead that he do something about abolition of maid service.
If sufficient election petition cards are filed, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Board must hold an election among all HUERA employees to choose between the two unions.
Last June the maids defeated the motion to join the AFL by a 266 to 60 vote. The janitors defeated the same motion 125 to 81. But this year, McNamara admitted, the AFL is in a Stronger position.