Waitresses Strike Against Square Regular

They Charge Cronin With Poor Working Conditions

A heated and at times bitter six-month labor dispute pitting waitresses against management continues to plague Cronin's Restaurant in Harvard Square.

The incessant legal battle between James D. Cronin, the owner of the restaurant, and waitresses there has been waged in several courts; it was not until May 9 that the court actions regarding the labor dispute and related strike apparently came to an end.

The dispute began when waitresses picketed the restaurant on Mt. Auburn St. demanding that Cronin recognize the newly founded Harvard Square Waitresses Organizing Committee (HSWOC) as the sole and inclusive bargaining agent for the waitresses in his employ.

The waitresses--who conducted a four-day picketing action while working their usual shifts--won recognition of their union. Excited about their own first victory, the waitresses at Cronin's expressed hope that others employed by restaurants around the square would become members of the HSWOC.

Members also hoped that Mayor Barbara S. Ackermann (then Cambridge City Councilwoman), who had contacted Cronin and urged him to recognize HSWOC, would become permanent members of the new union.


The HSWOC waitresses optimistically entered negotiations with Cronin demanding:

*a wage increase from $1.10 per hour to a starting salary of $1.35 per hour which would rise to $1.50 per hour with seniority;

*time and a half for hours worked in excess of eight hours per day or forty hours per week;

*a 15 per cent tip included in the bill;

*a release from responsibility for unpaid checks;

*sick pay and health insurance;

*leaves of absence without loss of seniority;

*abolition of the uniform for which they must pay;

*a clause barring firing discrimination based on race, political activities, union activities or national origin;

*equal distribution of customers by number and protection by the management from harassment by customers.