Black students rallied on the steps of Memorial Church at noon yesterday to protest the Administration's response to the OBU (Organization for Black Unity) demands regarding minority employment at Harvard.
Leslie S. Griffin '70, president of Afro, said that "further action may be taken" if the demands are not implemented.
Griffin charged that the Administration had not responded adequately to OBU's demands that Harvard promote the painters' helpers and hire 20 per cent black and Third-World construction workers. "They didn't address themselves to the issues," he said.
Griffin and Phillip N. Lee, a third-year law student and president of OBU, addressed a crowd of about 100 people in the Yard, then led the group to the Graduate School of Design's Gund Hall construction site on Quincy Street.
There, Griffin told the group that OBU will ask Harvard to stop construction at such sites "if the issue reaches an impasse."
"As the work progresses, fewer blacks are qualified to work at the site," Griffin said. "Therefore, if Harvard is acting in good faith, they will stop the construction until the issue is settled."
Earlier at the rally, Griffin said that OBU objected to the Administration's proposal that the Contractors' Association of Boston (CAB) review the qualificationsof the painters' helpers, because the University's first position had been that no outside groups would be contacted in settling the dispute. "First they told us that there would be no outsiders, then they proposed bringing in CAB." Griffin said. "We can't accept that."
Griffin added that the University's statement that it could not promise to hire 20 per cent black construction workers was insufficient. He said that despite Harvard's claim that qualified black construction workers in the Boston area number only five or six per cent of the total work force, the United Community Construction Workers in Boston could supply the necessary number of skilled men.
OBU, a group representing black students at the College and the Graduate Schools and some black workers in the University, has become the official bargaining agent for the Afro demands, Stephen A. Burrell, a second-year business school student and member of OBU, said last night. "OBU now speaks for Afro." he said. "We are handling the issue because the construction sites are mostly on the graduate school campuses."