Palermo Workers Strike a Major Focus on Labor Day in Milwaukee and Nationally

Palermo Workers Strike a Major Focus on Labor Day in Milwaukee and Nationally

The now three month old strike at Palermo’s was a focus of Milwaukee’s annual Labor Day parade on September 3, as well as celebrations of labor in nearby Racine, Madison, and even as far away as Los Angeles, California.

Striking members of the Palermo Workers Union joined with the local United Steelworkers contingent in the annual Milwaukee Labor Day parade and Labor Fest. Many Palermo workers brought their families and children, some of whom also carried signs, flags, banners, noisemakers, and informational literature.

Strike leader Raul de la Torre led the group with chants including “No justice, no pizza,” and “Unfair to workers, boycott Palermo’s!”

“It is really overwhelming to see the community offer so much support for our struggle, said de la Torre. It just makes me proud to be a part of Milwaukee’s labor family.”

All along the parade route, members of the Palermo Workers Union distributed over 1000 fliers thanking the community and offering ways to take action in support of the boycott and strike.

Consumers allied with the striking workers have been urging Costco Wholesale to drop contracts with Palermo’s for violating Costco’s “Supplier Code of Conduct.”

Supporters in densely unionized southern California built a full size parade float adorned with multiple banners reading, “Hey Costco – Drop Palermo’s,” while others carried signs and chanted slogans of solidarity with the Milwaukee workers.

Palermo workers have been on strike since June 1st and are demanding formal recognition of their union, as well as immediate re-instatement of all striking workers who were fired, and for Palermo to follow the direction of ICE, which has not made any determination of the worker’s documentation status and suspended its audit of the workplace, pending resolution of the labor dispute.

Author: AFGE Local 704

Representing over 900 bargaining unit employees working at the U.S. EPA Region 5 Offices in Chicago, Ann Arbor, MI and Westlake, OH.

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