As the worker strike at Palermo Villa Inc. enters its third month, workers urged customers at Costco Wholesale Corp. grocery stores to boycott the Palermo’s Pizza products manufactured at the company.
The United States Student Association and Youth Empowered in Struggle joined the striking workers in distributing information about the dispute Sunday at the Middleton branch of Costco, which is the largest retailer of Palermo products in the country.
The National AFL-CIO and the United Steelworkers have also thrown their support behind the strike. The workers plan to continue leafleting Palermo retailers to encourage customers to boycott the products.
Riverwest Co-op in Milwaukee has stopped carrying Palermo products to show solidarity with the striking workers.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has postponed indefinitely a vote scheduled for July 27 that would have decided whether Palermo Villa Inc. employees would form a union while it investigates accusations of unfair labor practices against the company.
The union’s accusations against the company include: requiring employees to verify work authorization in a very short period of time as retaliation for union activities; hiring temporary workers to dissuade organizing; refusing to recognize the union; permanently replacing workers on strike; not requiring non-striking employees to verify legal work status; and terminating about 75 employees on June 8 for “alleged failure to provide work authorization documents,” one day after an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement order informed the company its audit was suspended.
Palermo Villa has denied the accusations, calling them a baseless attempt at deception that harm the employees and community, and maintained that it has cooperated with ICE and obeyed the law.