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In Vino Veritas

THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

I am writing to correct several errors in a Crimson article of March 5: "Farmworker Supporters Avoid Brush With Police." This article concerned a delegation of Harvard supporters of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) to the Boston office of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company.

First, the article neglected to mention the true purpose of the delegation. Connecticut Mutual, in partnership with the California-based Desert Valley Citrus Corporation, has a controlling interest in a major grape-produceg in California at whose farm the UFW won a state-sponsored, union representational election in 1975. Since that time, this grape-producer, the Coachella Growers Company (CGC), has refused to negotiate a contract with the UFW. Therefore, members of the H-R UFW Support Committee went to Connecticut Mutual's Boston office to urge Connecticut Mutual to pressure CGC to enter into serious negotiations with the UFW.

Second, the story left the impression that the delegation's request to speak with Mr. Mimken, the manager of Connecticut Mutual's Boston office, was unreasonable, because they had been informed that Mr. Mimken was away on business. In fact, the UFW supporters had good reason to believe that Mr. Mimken was not out-of-town. A member of a delegation which had visited Connecticut Mutual earlier in the day saw a note stating that Mr. Mimken would be in the office at 10:15 that morning. Furthermore, the Connecticut Mutual receptionist indicated to us that Mr. Mimken was only out on his lunch break and would return soon.

The final error was The Crimson's statement that I "knew nothing about the problems with the farmworkers" until the day of the delegation. I have worked closely, for the past two years, with the United Farm Workers Union in their efforts to ensure just living and working conditions for agricultural workers. I will continue to support the UFW's boycott of Gallo wines and non-UFW grapes until farmworkers are permitted to select a union to represent them and until growers like CGC negotiate contracts with the union so chosen. Bernard W. Bell '78

REPLY

Due to a typographical error, a statement by a vice president of Connecticut Mutual was incorrectly attributed to Bell. The Crimson apologizes to Bell for the error, but otherwise stands by the story.

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