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Chavez Ends UFW Boycott Of Lettuce, Grapes and Gallo

By Jerome L. Rappaport

Harvard Square wine merchants said yesterday they will not increase their stock of Gallo wine despite an announcement Tuesday by Cesar Chavez that the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) has ended its boycott against Gallo wine, lettuce, and table grapes.

Chavez lifted the boycott in "a spirit of cautious optimism," Irving Hirshenbaum, the Cambridge organizer of the UFW, said yesterday.

"The boycott was an effective way to make growers allow workers to vote for their representation in labor disputes," Hirschenbaum said. The UFW believes the courts, rather than the tactic of boycotting, can now insure labor rights because of previously established precedents.

Lucretia Hudzinsky, New England director of the UFW, said yesterday, "The emphasis of the UFW will now be directed towards making growers negotiate with the union on specific proposals for pension plans, medical benefits and wage improvement."

"We will still use boycotting as a tool; this could just be a temporary lifting if the growers refuse to negotiate or act in bad faith," Shawn Jones '78, coordinator of the Harvard-Radcliffe Friends of the United Farm Workers, said yesterday.

Caveat Emptor

Some stores in Harvard Square have been selling Gallo wine for the past year and a half, including the Harvard Provision Company, where students protested and picketed against the store's sale of the wine in 1975.

"The students were not allowing us to sell a product to those who wanted to buy it," a Harvard Pro employee who wished to remain anonymous said yesterday.

The boycott did not affect the Pro's Gallo wine sales and the store does not expect an increase in Gallo sales from the lifting of the boycott, the Pro source said.

Wine for All Reasons "hasn't sold, doesn't sell, and won't sell Gallo wine," John Carroll, the manager, said yesterday. Carroll said Gallo wine does not measure up to his standards of quality and price.

Cave Atlantique is an atypical store, since it hadn't carried Gallo wine even before 1970.

In answer to the question of whether one can buy a bottle of Gallo wine with a clear conscience, the UFW's New England, Cambridge and Harvard representatives feel that the case is not closed. "The Gallo management was obnoxious in their dealings with us, and they have to prove that they will negotiate in good faith with us in the future," Hudzinsky said.

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