More than 70 demonstrators from H-R SDS peacefully confronted Mrs. Bunting yesterday afternoon to present the demands for improved working conditions and wage increases for some women employees of the Radcliffe kitchens.
Mrs. Bunting promised the demonstrators that she would look into their grievances and present the results of her investigation in about a week.
The demonstrators massed on Radcliffe Quad and marched to Fay House, the Radcliffe administration building. They were invited into the President's office, where Marcia R, Livingston '71 read the demonstrators' demand to Mrs. Bunting:
eliminating the 90-cent hourly wage differential between chefs (men) and first cooks (women);
extra cooks when special dinners are prepared;
a second dishwashing machine in East House;
fixing unsanitary and inefficient dishwashing machines in all kitchens;
replacing metal dish racks with plastic ones in all kitchens.
As these demands were being read, Mrs. Bunting took notes and was later given a leaflet detailing the grievances. She said that the efficiency of the machines was checked regularly and that no bad reports had been entered, but promised to investigate further.
Mrs. Bunting then read the demonstrators a letter signed by 50 Radcliffe kitchen workers (about one-fourth of all the kitchen employees). She said she had received this letter shortly before the demonstration.
In the letter, the workers said that they had voted last year to have AFLCIO Local 254 represent them and that they did not want the students to demonstrate on their behalf. "We are all active paying members [of the local] and in any grievances relating to employment and working conditions we wish to have the unions represent us and not the students!" the letter said.
In response to the letter, Leslie L. Davidson '70 said, "We are not representing the workers; the letter is a distortion. But as students we are concerned about working conditions in this college."
Mrs. Bunting then outlined her position: "I think there should be equal pay for equal work, and if the women are doing the same work as the men, they should get the same pay."
The problem, according to Mrs. Bunting, is largely financial. "It's really a question of finding the money. Perhaps we haven't made the right choices as to where our money goes," she said.
She then raised the possibility of closing Hilles Library for some of the hours it is now open to save money. Marge Schwartz, a first year graduate student, denounced Mrs. Bunting's idea, saying this might "turn the students against the workers and make both groups believe that their interests are in conflict."
Mrs. Bunting added that Radcliffe is trying to raise $5 million to pay for operating costs and said, "I would hope that this would allow us to raise wages." A demonstrator then asked Mrs. Bunting what her salary was, but other demonstrators hissed him. "I don't think that would help you, but I do worry about it," she replied.