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Afro Calls Harvard Hiring Racist, Demands Reform by December 2


Harvard-Radcliffe Afro presented the Administration with two statements of demands concerning the University's hiring policies towards minority group workers. Afro set 9 a. m. on December 2 as the deadline for compliance by Harvard.

A group of students gave the demands yesterday to L. Gard Wiggins, administrative vice president of the University.

The Afro statements said that Harvard "has long allowed racism in its rankest and most insidious forms to systematically and ruthlessly prevent black men from working in its employ."

One set of demands attacked alleged racism in the painter's trade and the other called for changes in construction hiring, which Afro said is characterized by "insidious patterns of discrimination."

No Pressure Yet

"Afro is not planning to apply intensive pressure until the deadline is over," said Mark D. Smith '72, a member of the group. Smith would not comment on what action might be taken if the deadline passes without acceptance of the demands.

Neither the list of demands nor the decision to wait until December to act was supported by a faction within Afro called Black Students for Action. At an SDS meeting last night the minority group announced plans for an obstructive sit-in in support of their own list of demands today in Wiggins' office.

In its demands concerning Harvard painters, Afro called for.

the re-classification of all painters' helpers as painters. Painters' helpers earn from 43c. to 86c. less an hour than do painters, and Afro, along with SDS, says that the predominantly black helpers do the same work as the painters without getting paid for it;

the immediate establishment of an apprenticeship-training program, which painters could enter without receiving a cut in pay. Painters completing theprogram would receive pay comparable to that received by outside contracted painters:

the creation of a nine-member committee to review all cases of minority workers' grievances. Included on the committee would be two members of Afro and two workers as well as Harvard personnel representatives:

the immediate promotion of a black worker to the position of crew-chief:

a guarantee that no reprisals be made against any minority workers as a result of the demands.

In what it termed a "meaningful and effective program of affirmative action" Afro demanded that on Harvard construction sites:

"a minimum of 20 per cent of the skilled, semi-skilled, and general work force on all construction projects be composed of black and Third World workers";

the University hire "a substantial number" of black subcontractors on all present and future construction;

Afro and a group called the United Community Construction Workers choose a compliance officer to monitor the hiring and treatment of black workers;

the University will not make any agreement relating to black and minority employment until Afro can develop "a comprehensive program of affirmative action on that and all related matters."

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