Due to work schedules and whatnot, I ended up dining by myself at Serb Hall tonight.
Normally, I hate eating out by myself, but it was for a good cause, so I still went. I am definitely glad that I did.
I was seated in Victoria's section again. She greeted me like an old friend and told me how Randy Bryce and others had already been there.
I smiled to myself that we are doing such a good job supporting them that they are knowing us by name.
I also got to meet Michelle, another one of the union waitresses. She normally works the first shift for the lunch crowd, but stayed late today. I guess there was such a demand for union staff.
As with all the other union employees, and several non-union ones, she thanked us for all that we are doing and stated that it is having a definite impact. I thanked her for staying strong and standing up for herself and her union brothers and sisters.
It was a regular (Serb) Hallmark moment, but with fish.
Eating alone gave gave me some much needed moments of peace. It also allowed me to pay closer attention to what's going on.
I noticed that even though she had her own section to tend to, Victoria took the time to help one of the non-union servers out. A few seconds later, I saw Michelle doing the same thing with another non-union server.
I reflected that this is as it should be as it parallels real life.
Some of the non-union staff are in support of the union workers, and some would like to even join. But they are afraid to because they also see the harassment management has been giving the union workers. Other workers hate the unions and blame them for the situation they are in. And there are workers who don't care one way or the other.
But regardless of the non-union worker's attitude, the union members still help them out because they realize they are in this all together.
It's the same way in the world beyond Serb Hall.
There are some people who would like to unionize, but are afraid to because of the intimidation and threats coming from management. There are some people who simply support unions because they recognize how they benefit everyone. And there are some people that just have an irrational hatred for the unions and blame them for everything. There are also lots of people that just don't care either way if the unions survive or not.
But regardless of the attitudes of the these other folks, the unions still strive to make the world a better place by fighting for family-sustaining wages, safe work environments and respect in the workplace.
When the unions win these rights and fight to keep them, this forces other companies to raise their standards or lose their workers to the union shops.
And thereby all the boats are raised with the tide, as the saying goes.
The acknowledgement that we are all in this together - that an injury to one is an injury to all - and the pulling together to pull everyone up is called solidarity.
Which brings us back to the Solidarity Fish Fry.
Who knew that a fish fry could be so philosophical?
We'll take care of that next week, our eighth consecutive week, when we will be able to say, "We eight the Solidarity Fish Fry."