Chicano Students To Protest Coop's Sale of Farah Slacks

A local Chicano student group plans to protest a recent Coop decision not to honor a union boycott of Farah pants.

The Coop board of directors voted on January 26 to continue to sell the pants, after meeting with union and Farah representatives.

Employees of the Farah Pant Company have been on strike in El Paso, Texas, since May. Over 80 per cent of them are Mexican-Americans, Carlos Alcala, a first year law student and a spokesman for the Movimento Estudiantil Chicano De Aztlan (MECDA), said yesterday.

You Did--I Did Not

Alcala said that the Coop had reneged on an earlier agreement not to sell Farah pants, and that their recent decision represented a reveral of policy.

Howard W. Davis, Coop general manager, denied yesterday that any such agreement had existed.

Alcala said that his organization has been working closely with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) which has been trying to organize the Farah workers. He said MECDA is considering running a pro-union slate in the next Coop elections.

MECDA's exact plans will be worked out next week, and may include a consumer information campaign, Alcala said.

Officials of five Massachusetts labor organizations, including the New England regional AFL-CIO and the Massachusetts Labor Council, presented the ACWA's case to members of the Coop's board of directors in January, Robert Wiseman, regional coordinator of the AGWA, said yesterday.

He said that the Coop carries a tremendous amount of Farah products, and that his union has been able to convince many other large retailers to drop the Farah line.

"By continuing to sell Farah pants, the Coop is tacitly endorsing their position," Wiseman said.

Davis said that the Coop board of directors had considered both sides in reaching its decision. He said that the Coop had decided against a boycott because, "differences between the sides cannot be judged at this distance."

The Coop, however, will not advertise Farah products or display them in the store's windows, he said.

Joseph Angland, a first year Law student and Coop director, said yesterday "The Coop's decision was not an endorsement of Farah."

He added, however, that the Coop's directors felt an endorsement of the boycott "was not appropriate for us as a retailer."

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