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YPSL members plan to begin picketing the Harvard Coop tomorrow in support of striking GE workers.
David Guberman '71. Harvard coordinator of the Youth Committee to support the GE workers, asked the Coop yesterday to discontinue the sale of GE products. The non-obstructive picket will continue in front of the Coop on business days until the management agrees to "withdraw GE merchandise from the shelves."
Al Zavelle. acting manager of the Coop, said last night that he will base his response to the action on the general sentimental in the Harvard community. "The way students and faculty feel has already influenced us. We do not live in a 'white house." he said.
Zavelle claimed, however, that the Coop could not legally discontinue stocking GE products for the explicit purpose of supporting the strikes' demands. "A 'secondary boycott' [a store's refusal to buy products from a company whose workers are striking], subject to interpretation from our legal counsel, is illegal," he said last night.
Guberman also yesterday asked L. Gard Wiggins, administrative vice president of the University, to stop buying all GE goods that Harvard is not contractually obligated to purchase.
"I don't see how the University could possibly agree to discontinue using GE products," Wiggins said.
Steven Kelman '70, president of National YPSL, said that YPSL will concentrate its efforts on the Coop first, before insisting that Harvard comply with its demands.
"The importance of the Coop demonstration," said Kelman. "is that, aside from the economic effort it will have on GE, the Coop's withdrawal of GE merchandise will have an important symbolic effect in setting a precedent for other Greater Boston stores."
On November 5, YPSL members joined the striking International Union of Electrical Workers in a GE warehouse picket which called for higher wages, more safety features on GE products, and doctors in work areas.
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