The Harvard printers' strike entered its third week this with the situation about the same as it was on April 9, when 32 members of the Graphic Arts International Union's Locals 16 and 300 first walked out of the Harvard Printing Office.
The lithographers and bookbinders still want more than the 5.5-per-cent wage increase the University has offered them, saying that the 5.5 figure would still leave them at lower salary levels than high-quality Boston printers.
The University still says that it is offering wages that are in line with those of most Boston printers, and fringe benefits that are far better.
The printers want binding federal arbitration on the contract dispute; the University refuses to accept outside arbitration.
And in several bargaining sessions between the union and the Harvard Personnel Office, each side has refused to budge on the wage level it wants.
So every day four or five printers picket outside the Printing Office gates behind Soldiers Field, and four or five Harvard and Boston policemen stand watching them, making sure the printers let in delivery trucks that want to cross the picket lines.
There is no question that the strike is severely hurting the Printing Office. The University has been forced to send out a great deal more than the usual 45 to 50 per cent that is printed at outside shops, and exams, one of the office's big jobs each year--are approaching. The additional outside printing is expensive.
The University meanwhile is working on plans to handle exams if the strike continues. And after commencement comes one of the slower times of the year for the Printing Office, when the strike would have a minimal effect.
It seems to boil down to a question of who can hold out longer.