Saturday, April 27, 2013

Solidarity Fish Fry: The Primer

As I have reported, the management at Serb Hall has been trying to bust the union there.  Recently, they have shown their true selves and have declared an impasse in negotiations and are now being extremely abusive to the union members.

Due to this, we have stopped going to Serb Hall to eat, but have gone back to support our union brothers and sisters through education.

Randy Bryce drew up these fine informational fliers for us to distribute to people going to Serb Hall:

We had a small crew there to hand them out, including Randy, Representative Chris Sinicki, Richard Schwalb, and one of my tweeps, @runtodaylight.

Even though our crew was small, we had more than enough people since they weren't very busy at all:

Things were so slow that they had two busers out picking up garbage from the yard.

It took management about five minutes to realize we were out there and to keep sending people out to make sure we stayed on the sidewalk.

While we were distributing the literature, one car pulled up with a young priest in the passenger seat.  He asked what was going on and we gave him a flier and explained that we liked Serb Hall but that we didn't like that they were treating union workers so poorly.  He identified himself as a priest that formerly worked at the church which owns the hall.  He told us that he was on the way to the church for a meeting and would make sure that they knew what was happening.

That encounter alone made our efforts a success.

Sadly, our happiness didn't last long.

Shortly after the priest went on his way, another car pulled up.  Driving the car was Maryann, a union waitress who had been at Serb Hall for 38 years.  She told us how they cut her hours to one shift a week and then gave that shift away to one of the non-union workers.  The poor woman was in tears as she told us of the abuses they are suffering for having dared to stand up for their rights.

At about ten minutes before we were going to leave, a squad car pulled up.  A handful of people handing out leaflets was enough to get management so rattled that they called the police.  I can just imagine how that call went:
"Hello, 911? Yes, there is some union thugs in front of our business and they are causing all sorts of mayhem.  Worst of all, they have leaflets! Leaflets, I tell you!  No, leaflets...fliers, literature!  Yes, yes!  Can you send a hundred police to arrest them all?! It's pure chaos out there!"
While we were chatting with the officer, another squad car started to pull in until the first officer waved them off.  After chatting with the nice officer for a few minutes. we decided to stay for another 20 minutes to make a point.

Afterwards, we went to Clifford's Supper Club for the Solidarity Fish Fry.  We had the pleasure of having Rick and Linda Rumpel join us there:

All of the tables are long ones, so it fits our needs wonderfully.  And the management didn't mind having larger groups there, where Serb Hall can make it seem like expecting them to cater to the customers is too much for them to bear.

The all you can eat fish fry was more expensive than Serb Hall, but we all agreed that the fish was better at Clifford's.  The fish was large slabs of cod done to perfection.  The fish was moist but not underdone.  The fries weren't the greatest, but were still good.  The coleslaw was the creamy kind which I prefer over the vinegary type that Serb Hall serves.

The meal was served family style, although we had a very difficult time to get Randy to understand that included the tartar sauce:

We were even fortunate enough to have a former union waitress, so the service was pretty good.

True to the nature and spirit of the Solidarity Fish Fry, we made sure we left our "calling card":

As we were leaving, the waitress asked me what the message meant.  I was more than glad to explain it.  You never know when a seed will take root and grow into something beautiful.  (This is where I learned she used to be a union server until the place that she had worked for broke the union.  Now the business is gone.  Talk about a learning opportunity for Serb Hall!)

After dinner, my wife and I went back to Serb Hall to see how things were.  The dining hall was an echo chamber, it was that quiet.  Tim, the maitre d', was looking awfully bored.

Next week, we do it again, but we will turn it up a notch.  Get some poster board, some markers and make some signs.  Let's let people know that the way they are treating their employees is not only wrong, it is absolutely unacceptable.  We need enough people with enough signs to make sure everyone hears our voice, especially the board members.*

We will hold another informational rally at Serb Hall next Friday from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, and then we will adjourn to Clifford's for some more of that cod.  Man, it was good!

Let's do it up right and send our message loud and clear.

*And judging by the way Serb Hall's general manager was trolling my previous posts tonight, our small event had a big effect.  Imagine how much more of an effect it will be when they hear all of us next week!

PS: Does anyone know where we can get a giant Scabby the Rat costume for Randy?


  1. There's something FISHY going on at Serb Hall! Hats off to you guys for doing what needs to be done!

  2. What do they do with all the fish they didn't sell? Let it ripen until next week?

    1. They probably save it for their fish casserole the next week.