Management Turns Away Delegation of Workers, Families, and Faith Leaders
Earlier today a delegation comprised of Palermo’s plant workers on strike, their families, and community faith leaders tried to deliver 15,000 petitions (stacked high in ten pizza boxes) in defense of the right to organize, and demanding their reinstatement without retaliation. The company has terminated workers for supporting the strike.
The signatures on the 15,000 petitions were from supporters of the Palermo Workers Union across the United States.
The company’s refusal to send out a representative, or receive the petitions themselves, is indicative of its consistent attitude belitting workers’ concerns throughout this labor dispute. Instead, management told police security to deny the delegation access to the building and only allow one person on the property to deliver them.
Eight year old Daniella, the daughter of one of the striking workers, volunteered to deliver the petitions and walked up to the police security with pizza boxes filled with signatures, accompanied by Reverend Joe Ellwinger of Milwaukee Inner City Congregation Allied for Hope (MICAH) and cheered on by a crowd of 150 supporters from across Wisconsin. Community supporters expressed their outrage at the company’s refusal to listen to the voices of the workers and their families.
“We are here today to deliver copies of a petition which has been signed by 15,000 people in less than a month. They are making it clear that they stand with us on the side of justice, dignity, and respect in the workplace. Those 15,000 voices will not be drowned out by Palermo’s threats and public intimidation tactics,” says Raul de la Torre of the Palermo Workers Union in a statement read prior to the petition delivery.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos available at https://www.facebook.com/boycottpalermos
Statement by Raul de la Torre, Palermo Workers Union, on One Month Mark of Strike
It’s been one month since we, the workers of Palermo’s Pizza took a stand against the company’s unfair labor practices & unsafe conditions, by striking on June 1st.
In that month, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support from union members, faith leaders, consumers, and retailers. Many of you have visited the picket line, marched with us, and donated your time, money, and supplies- thank you so much for your kindness and support.
Palermo’s Pizza executives are doing everything they can to hide the real issues behind why we are striking for justice. But we will not stop spreading the word about the unsafe working conditions at the plant and the intimidation and threats we have received simply for demanding a voice on the job to improve workplace conditions.
We are here today to make sure the company hears us and our many supporters, including unions, faith leaders, students, and many community members.
We are here today to deliver copies of a petition which has been signed by nearly 15,000 people in less than a month. They are making it clear that they stand with us on the side of justice, dignity, and respect in the workplace. Those 15,000 voices will not be drowned out by Palermo’s threats and public intimidation tactics.
We hope that Palermo’s accepts the petitions, and reads them. And we want to go back to work. All we want is a voice on the job- why is the company putting so much time and energy into denying us this basic right?
I want this struggle to end- but only with the company honoring our request of granting us the right to organize for the kinds of conditions that anyone would want to work in and feel safe in.
Raul de la Torre, Palermo Workers Union