Sunday, November 25, 2012

More Dirty Tricks From Serb Hall

Friday, I wrote about the seventh successful week of the Solidarity Fish Fry.

One of the non-union waitresses, or management pretending to be one, left a comment in which they stated that the unions were the ones being unfair and that they should be working on a contract for all the workers, whether they belong or not.  Needless to say, this person's argument was quite a stretch.

On Sunday, Victoria, one of the heroic union waitresses that have dug in their heels to fight for their rights, left a comment.  I found it noteworthy due to the way she explained another trick of bad faith bargaining that management is doing there.

I reproduce her comment here:
It is true that there is a lot more business besides fish fry. What was failed to be mentioned is that a lot of our banquet business is from unions. I only averaged $19 an hour last year. The only reason it averaged that high is because our hours have been cut down for banquets, but we make the same gratuity. This began around the same time that we started having problems between the union and management. We now come in 2-3 hours later to start a banquet. The work that we did is now done by bussers. Since our hours have been cut almost in half, it appears that we make much more per hour. Since, bussers make more per hour than we do, I wonder why we stopped doing that work. I can only speculate that this was done on purpose to make us look like we are greedy and make much more per hour. I have been at Serb Hall for 11 years and don't remember my job ever being done by bussers or kitchen staff. Also, there are 5 union servers left. Shifts are scheduled based on seniority, which I feel is fair. If you put in your time, you earn more hours. I had to work there for many years before I moved up and earned the hours I get now. One thing that management should realize is that with seniority, comes experience. They should want to reward their long term employees instead trying to take things away. Many of the non-union workers only want to work Fridays. They should look for servers that want to join the union and work more days. Then we would have a fuller, experienced staff, as it was for many years. I love my union and all they have done for me. We will continue to fight for what we have earned! Thanks to everyone that is supporting us. We greatly appreciate you!
What she says is true. The Milwaukee Area Labor Council holds their meeting there each month. Almost every union event, banquet and holiday party is held there because they are a union shop.

And despite the lies of the managers, the unions have made it very clear to its members that if they do succeed in busting the union, we will be no longer supporting their business, either as a union or as individuals. That's a lot of money to throw away to satisfy some short term greed. Talk about cutting off their nose to spite their face.

I know we are already planning on being there for the eighth week of the Solidarity Fish Fry. So is my co-organizer, Randy Bryce. I hope you are too. Just go there to enjoy their fish fry or buffet, but make sure to ask for a union waitress. Be prepared for a possible wait. This thing keeps getting bigger each week.

Oh yeah, and tell them that Cog Dis sent ya. They just love that.


  1. How do we know we have union waitstaff? do they wear a ribbon or a button?

    1. Well, I know the name of three of them: Victoria, Michelle and Sandra.

  2. We are displaced Madisonians. We'll ask for more info later, but we are hoping to drive up in January for the Milwaukee Symphony (the premiere of a composition of our friend, Jeffrey Mumford). May we wait in line with you guys and hear the inside stories of the Wisconsin insurrection first hand. We'll share stories of our Kasich ordeal. By my reckoning that might be the 14th Solidarity Fish Fry. Palli

  3. The NLRA set forth a quid pro quo that requires the exclusive bargaining agent represent all members of the bargaining unit, regardless of whether they pay dues or join the union or not. The union may through an agreement with the employer require all employees as a term of continued employment, pay union dues once they are off their initial probation (typically six months). This is typically referred to as Union Security or Union Shop language. Negotiating this language is really tough, especially in the current labor climate. Typically, a union must show that the bargaining unit members want it and the Union usually must give up something the employer really wants in exchange for that language. Keep on keeping on, talk about the advantages or working union; to service employees that often has to do with issues of dignity and fairness in the workplace. Pointing out that seniority is a good thing because everybody eventually retires or quits. Because of that, even the most junior waitress will get her turn. Seniority is a reward for long term service.