Union Wins in Latest Battle With Harvard Square Coop

A unionization battle at the Harvard Coop will apparently continue at least through the rest of this year after a Boston judge ruled last week that the department store interfered with an unsuccessful union drive in March 1981.

Administrative Law Judge Lowell M. Goerlich recommended that the New England branch of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRS) uphold allegations of improper interference filed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445.

The decision formally allows for a new unionization election, but members of the Coop's board of directors said yesterday that the management will probably appeal the case to the central NLRS in Washington--a move which could stall proceedings for months.

Union Vows a Fight

Union officials vowed that they will wait out the Coop's delaying tactics and demand a new election if the central NLRB upholds their charges.


"We're not going anywhere, and they're crazy if they think we're going to give up now that we have gotten this far," said William Forsythe, director of organization for the union.

James Argeros, general manager of the Coop and the spokesman for the store's management, did not return repeated Crimson telephone calls yesterday.

Several student members of the Coop's board of directors who have banded together to pursue progressive labor relations and management policies said they approve of Goerlich's decision and expect new union elections.

"Obviously it's a positive thing," said Julia Rubin '84,' a member of the Incoming 11-member student board. But Robin predicted that Argeros will "draw the [legal battle] out for as long as possible."

The Food and Commercial Workers Union has charged the Coop with offering employees bonuses during the unionization drive to influence them to reject outside representation. The union also says the store management harassed and interrogated some employees.

Argeros has denied all charges.

The March 1981 vote failed by a tally of 273-156.