From Charles Denby’s Indignant Heart (which I discussed briefly here):
“Three years ago the lunch wagon owned by an outside chain company, brought food into the plants to sell to the workers at lunch time. They raised the price of their food after a few weeks. The workers felt this was too much to pay and put up a holler so the union decided to boycott all the lunch wagons. The stewards were to see to it that no one bought anything. The first day no one came near the wagon. The second day five Negroes went to the wagon and began getting food.
The white chief steward yelled and said, ‘Put down that damn stuff.’
The Negroes looked around, very angry, and continued to pick up food.
The steward rushed to me and said, ‘What I say about your people is true, they won’t cooperate. Go over and see if you can stop them.’
I went over and before I could speak one said, ‘Matthew, we want to cooperate but yesterday we went outside and the restaurant where we can eat was packed. There was a long line waiting and half of us didn’t get anything to eat. We were so hungry in the afternoon we had to check out early. We just couldn’t make the day without eating. All the whites ate because they can go in any restaurant. We can’t bring lunch because we don’t have wives to fix them.’
All the restaurants around the plant are jim crowed, there are only three places where Negroes can eat, and there are about three thousand Negroes working on my shift. I went to the white chief steward and told him the story.
I said, ‘If you can get some white workers tomorrow, I will get some Negro workers and we can go out and break these restaurants discriminating around the plant. We will see that the restaurants serve all of our union members. I will stand guard every day after that and guarantee that no one will buy off of this wagon.’
This stunned him. He said he couldn’t do it. He would have to take it up with our union officers and that would take some time. The Negro fellows continued to eat from the wagon and pretty soon all the workers came back to eat there too. The lunch wagon kept selling at a high price which hurt both Negro and white workers.” [148-149]