AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced that he welcomes a dialogue with Palermo Villa Inc. chief executive officer Giacomo Fallucca to discuss the company’s recent actions in response to union organizing efforts among workers at the pizza manufacturing plant in Milwaukee.
“I am encouraged by your willingness to discuss workers’ desire for a voice on the job.” Trumka said. “It is only through open dialogue that management and labor can reach a just and fair resolution of workplace problems and I am happy to participate in opening such a dialogue.”
Workers from Palermo’s have been on strike since June 1 to call for a voice on the job and to protest alleged unfair labor violations by the company. After the workers requested that Palermo’s recognize their union and bargain with them, Palermo’s fired more than 75 workers, according to the union.
The company said it needed to separate the workers from employment in order to comply with federal immigration laws.
In Fallucca’s recent letter to Trumka requesting a meeting, Fallucca suggested that major Palermo’s customer Costco has been in touch with the company about the dispute, Trumka said.
Cesar Hernandez, a former Palermo’s worker who is still on strike, said, “I’m happy that Palermo’s is asking the AFL-CIO to open a dialogue with them about our concerns. We look forward to the day Palermo’s workers can address our issues directly with Mr. Fallucca and the management at Palermo’s through our union. This is an important first step.”