Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Solidarity Fish Fry Call To Action: To Phones And To Forks!

Six months ago, the members of Local 122 - the union that represents the waitstaff and bartenders at Serb Hall in Milwaukee- came to the Milwaukee Area Labor Council to ask for our support.  They told us how management at Serb Hall was
trying to bust their union, making unreasonable and unconscionable demands of the union.

Shortly after that, not knowing what kind of response I would get, I asked for you, the gentle reader, to help send a message to the management at Serb Hall.

I should have known not to worry.  The gentle reader became the gentle eater and the response was overwhelming.

And thus the Solidarity Fish Fry was born.

Over the course of 25 weeks, we've learned just how poorly management was treating their employees.  They were bargaining in bad faith, they were harassing their workers, they were threatening their workers, and they were illegally discriminating against job applicants who were eligible to join the union - to name just a few of things.

Things were so bad that the National Labor Relations Board had to step in and sanction management for their illegal behaviors.

Sadly, I must report that Serb Hall's management has not figured it out yet.

Tonight, there was another meeting of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council.  And just like six months ago, the members of Local 122 were there to report on their plight.

What they reported was outrages and angered every delegate that was present.

They reported that on Tuesday night, they had a lengthy negotiation session with management.  They reported that even though they had offered many concessions, including pay cuts, giving up sick time, giving up bereavement time and many other things, management said it still wasn't enough and declared negotiations to be at impasse.

They said that they were no longer going to honor the contract.  They said that employees who had faithfully worked for them for decades would be treated no better than a new recruit who hadn't even been trained yet.  Things, such as working banquets, that were won over the years through good faith bargaining were no longer being considered.

To add insult to injury, we also learned that management had done their own version of Divide and Conquer by printing out a list of all their employees and their salaries.  They did so for no other reason than to cause dissension among their own workers.

In other words, they are still actively trying to bust the unions.

The members of Local 122 thanked us for our overwhelming show of support over the past six months.  They also asked us for further support.

And so, my cohost, Randy Bryce, and I are asking for a special call to action this Friday.  We need to make management understand just what they are risking with their belligerent ways.

On Friday, we would like you to call the people representing management in the negotiations and ask them in a very polite but a very firm manner to return to the negotiations table and to start bargaining in good faith.  If they do not do this, let them know in no uncertain terms that they will not see one more dime from you or any organization you belong to.  This is especially true if you are a union member.

The people you need to call and their phone numbers are:

  • Tom Miller at 414-331-2219
  • Mike Malsted at 414-241-4018 
  • Don Fluyevas at 414-545-6030
Miller and Malsted are members of the Board of Trustees.  Fluyevas is the Office Manager.

And yes, Miller is the same guy that was witnessed by many, including myself, to be openly harassing and threatening workers while in front of customers.  He is also the same boor who was caught on video telling paying customers that he would not let them influence the way he runs his restaurant.

Then, after you make the calls, follow the usual rules of the Solidarity Fish Fry:
  1. Go to Serb Hall in Milwaukee anytime between 11:30 am and 9 pm.
  2. Tell the host you want a union table - the servers are usually Michelle, Victoria and Sandra
  3. Enjoy a fish fry or buffet
  4. Leave a good tip and make sure they know it's in support of the union workers
  5. Move along so the other union supporters can get their fish fry on too.
And in case they decide to pull some more shenanigans, such as saying there were no union servers, be prepared to leave without eating. (Just don't go to Meyer's Family Restaurant.)

It is important that we do both the phone calls and attend the fish fry and to do so in force.

If we make the calls without showing up, they will figure that it's no great loss.  If we show up without making the calls, they will figure that we will just keep showing up no matter what they do to our brothers and sisters.

If we do both, then maybe, just maybe, they will understand how much our business does mean to them.

So again, first to your phones to let those three people know that we support our union brothers and sisters and want them to return to the table to bargain in good faith.  And if they don't want to do this, we will gladly take our business elsewhere.

Then show up in force to let them know just how much they would miss us if we do leave.

And tell them that Cog Dis sent you.

In solidarity!

1 comment:

  1. Why not Myers? According to the post you linked to the owners of that restaurant admitted they were wrong, apologized, and have "seen the light".

    Did something else happen since then?