Friday, November 2, 2012

The World Famous Solidarity Fish Fry

Tonight was the fourth week of the now world famous Solidarity Fish Fry, and what an evening it was!

Randy Bryce took the first shift and was able to see Tammy Baldwin and Tom Barrett making the rounds:

Image courtesy of Randy Bryce

They were gone by the time my wife and I made it there, but that's OK. She has a senate race to win and I'm sure had a lot of other things to do.

We arrived a little before 7 pm, but things were so bus for the union waitress we still had to wait a half hour before being seated.

Our waitress this week was Victoria:


I tell ya, I got tired watching that woman go! There was no shuffle in her step as she did the work of any three non-union servers!

As we were being seated at our table, I looked up only to see a Facebook friend, Rick Rumpel point at my Blue Fist shirt - my official Solidarity Fish Fry eating shirt - and give me a thumbs up.  He then rolled down his sleeve far enough to show off his fist tattoo on his forearm.

Oh, this is gonna be a good night, I thought.

We were joined shortly by another friend, Christine Ballewske and her husband Gary:

Gary and Christine

But one of the best parts of the evening was when I saw my friend Dave Redemann there.  He brought a friend who he introduced to me.  His friend was Steve Murphy, who was visiting all the way from England:

Steve Murphy and Dave Redemann
Mr. Murphy was a chief steward for a teachers union in England.  He told me that in the UK, they are very familiar with our plight in Wisconsin and have taken a vote to stand in solidarity with us.  I tell ya, it was all I could do to avoid tearing up with gratitude and joy.

Now, for the real news, some good and some bad.

The good news is that I heard that there has been some movement on the contract negotiations.  Not a lot of movement, but we are having a positive effect and hell yes, we're going back for fifths next week!

The bad news is that Patricia, the waitress we've had for the past three weeks, has left.  She had an opportunity elsewhere and was tired of the general manager, Tom Miller, harassing her and being abusive towards her, so she took the chance to leave.

That leaves them with only five union waitresses.  In the past year or two, they've lost about 2/3 of their unionized staff.

We need to keep up the pressure on our forks and on management to show them how important the unions are to their business and to us, the paying customers.

So I want to see a huge turnout next week.  The elections will be over and we will all need a good chance to unwind.  And I can think of a better way to start our first post-election weekend than with a good old-fashioned Milwaukee fish fry.

What say you?  Will you join us?


  1. "did the work of any three non-union servers"

    oh grow up. whatta jerk. People bust their butts for pennies with no hope of improvement and then they gotta see random insults like this for no damn good reason other than you think you're cute. You got a ways to go on that front btw.

    p.s. I dunno who your wife (or whoever's wife ) is who's running for Senate, or campaigning for someone or whatevs. But geeez, way to alienate a large chunk of voters moments before an election.Guess you don't need no lazy non-Union server vote. 'kay, I'll spread the word.
    p.s. If your wife is working for the Baldwin campaign , the entire family had planned to vote for her, but...maybe now we're un-needed/un-welcome. Will reconsider. Sorry Tam. Maybe you should have a chat with your pals. I have met you, and I don't think you'd talk/think like that. Very unfortunate. It's hard to find any group/candidate to feel good about anymore. People insist on being SO cruddy. Oh well. Sayonara Union Snob. We'll just stay home on election day.
    Wee'z not good enuf.

    1. I'm guessing your a non union server?

    2. No, my guess is just a Republican troll.

    3. Anony mouse, Put a name on your posts chicken poop. Ot is it Tom Miller?

  2. So let me get this straight so i understand.

    You are going to either not vote or vote against the person you feel would represent you the most because you are mad that capper is supporting a union waitress at one restaurant in WI?

    that will show everyone!

    If only Capper would support wait staff making less money then Tammy would have 2 more votes.....yee haw!!

  3. Hi,this is Patricia, I just received this blog and I've moved to FLORIDA. There is an error printed above regarding my leaving, "The bad news is that Patricia, the waitress we've had for the past three weeks, has left. She had an opportunity elsewhere and was tired of the general manager, Tom Miller, harassing her and being abusive towards her, so she took the chance to leave." The truth is: I CHOSE TO RESIGN my waitress position at Serb Hall to move to Florida. I gave a written two week notice to Kelly Vida and asked in writing for the opportunity to personally inform ALL the people I work with of my plans. This did not happen and it seems that my departing was "confusing" to those I did work with AND this has left a very "sour taste" in my mouth, as well as, bitter-sweet memories! I LOVED WORKING FISH FRY AND BANQUETS AT SERB HALL! I LOVED THE CUSTOMERS and made many friends over the past ten+ years! I also did enjoy working with most of the other employees including those that had left over the years! Many times, I did NOT like how we were being talked to and treated but this WAS NOT the reason I left! I had planned to move to Florida way back in March, 2012 and chose to make this move on the night after working the polls on the November 6, 2012 election. I have become a Floridian and I really did not want to commute so far to work! I have been a waitress for 45 years and have worked in many establishments, one for 21 years. I was the union rep at Serb Hall and have been actively involved with unions since my childhood as my mom was a union steward at American Motors. I am and will continue to be supportive of any and all unions. Thanks for allowing to respond.Patricia