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May, SDS Members Argue About Wages For Painters At Non-Obstructive Sit-In

By Shirley E. Wolman

About 75 students sat-in at Dean May's office for two hours yesterday afternoon in an SDS-led protest against the Cambridge Project and the wage differential among categories of painters.

The demonstrators made no attempt to obstruct the work of those in University Hall, and did not throw anyone out of the building. Instead, the students argued heatedly with May and John B. Butler, director of Personnel.

May and Butler were in May's office when the demonstrators entered shortly after 1 p.m. The students presented their demand that all painters' helpers be promoted to painters. SDS claims the helpers and painters do the same work and wants the wage differential between the two groups-up to 86 cents an hour-abolished.

May and the demonstrators argued for a while about who was qualified to judge the skills of a painter. with May asking Jared Israel '67, "Have you ever done any painting?"

Denounce, Denounce

Two other demonstrators-John C. Berg. a former fifth-year graduate student dismissed for his role in last April's occupation of University Hall, and Dale B. Fink '71-cited what they said were examples of helpers working alone and not in an apprentice program.

In response, Butler explained the University's view of the difference between the kind of work done by helpers and that done by painters. "I'm not saying that in every five-minute period helpers and painters are doing different things. They might both be painting the same wall, for example. But there are other skills a helper must acquire," he said.

At one point May told the demonstrators, "Your facts are not true," but he also said that it is "quite conceivable that there are injustices and irregularities in our employment system which might be found by students and otherwise overlooked." He said that he wanted such injustices brought to his attention, but added that, in his opinion, no "specific allegations of injustice [had] so far been brought forward."

After almost an hour of such debate,Israel told May. "Pick up the phone and promote all the helpers," As demonstrators chanted, "Smash Racism, Promote the Helpers." another student added, "And when you've promoted them, we'll talk about the Cambridge Project." May replied. "No, It's not going to happen that way."

He then asked the demonstrators if they had anything further to say. Getting no response, he announced he had a meeting and, along with Butler, left the office. There was no effort to obstruct his exit.

The demonstrators talked among themselves for another hour and then decided to leave. An SDS meeting Tuesday night had suggested remaining in the office until 5 p.m. and perhaps later.

The students at the sit-in voted to take "stronger action" sometime next week, probably Tuesday or Wednesday. This action will be discussed at a meeting next Monday night.

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