James D. Cronin, owner of Cronin's Restaurant, testified yesterday before Middlesex Superior Court on the January 26 contract meeting held with waitresses and on the following day's picketing.
In an hour-and-a-half of testimony, Cronin said that he at no time refused to include a non-discrimination clause in the waitresses' contract.
Ann Erdmann, a member of Harvard Square Waitresses Organizing Committee (HSWOC), said after the testimony that Cronin had "lied" about his willingness to include the non-discrimination clause.
Cronin and his lawyer have said they will make no public comments about the hearing: Cronin last night refused to reply to the charge.
Patricia Welch, one of the waitresses, was ejected from the courtroom in an emotional scene after she called Cronin a liar. Cronin had said that the waitresses had bargained in bad faith at the January 26 meeting and had been planning a strike for the next day regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.
In testimony, Cronin revealed a log which he said he and members of his staff had been keeping on the strike since its initiation on January 27.
Erdmann called the log a "fake." She also disputed Cronin's testimony that on the first day of the strike, waitresses had picketed within 12 inches of the restaurant's entrance, interfering with customers.