Four students from the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) and the United Farmworkers (UFW) met yesterday with Milton P. Brown, Filene Professor of Retailing, and asked him to use his influence to persuade Jordan Marsh stores to stop selling textile goods manufactured by the J.P. Stevens Company.
Brown, who is a director of Allied Stores, the parent company of Jordan Marsh, refused "to render a judgment" on the request, saying that he did not think he had enough information to take a stand one way or the other on the Stevens boycott.
The four students, led by Roger W. Wallach '79 of the UFW, said they oppose labor law violations by Stevens, America's second largest textile manufacturer.
"We asked him to make some effort as a member of the board of directors to get Jordan Marsh to stop selling the products," Andrew J. Kahn '80, vice-president of DSOC, said yesterday. "He came across as someone who had read all the company literature and had very little sympathy for the workers," Kahn added.
Brown said he had asked the management of Allied Stores if they know of the problem. "I found the company to be very conversant with the situation," he said, adding that the chain was "considering its posture" in regard to the boycott.
"The Union and the companies should settle their matters together, with the U.S. government as referee" Brown said. "It's not something those of us on the sidelines can decide."
DSOC and UFW members are circulating a petition demanding that Brown take a public position on the affair. "We have 150 signatures at least, and we only began yesterday," Kahn said.
He added that if Brown does not respond, the groups will call for his resignation from the board of directors. "We will continue to publicize his links with Allied Stores," Kahn said.