The AFL-CIO endorsed a nationwide boycott of Palermo's Pizza (Palermo Villa Inc.) in response to the company’s blatant disregard of its workers’ choice to form a union. The boycott covers Palermo’s brand pizza, “Classics” brand pizza and private-label brand frozen pizza produced by Palermo's, including Costco’s Kirkland brand. This endorsement is part of the continued support for the efforts of the Palermo Workers Union by the United Steelworkers and the AFL-CIO, community and immigrant rights groups like Voces de la Frontera and students from the United States Student Association, the nation’s largest and oldest student-led organization.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:
The twelve million union families of the AFL-CIO are proud to stand with these Wisconsin workers who have bravely joined together for a voice on the job....Their courage and strength are a model for working people around the country whose rights are being violated and voices silenced. We hope that this boycott will encourage Palermo to finally respect its workers who work so hard for them every day.
Workers from Palermo's, a large frozen pizza manufacturer in Milwaukee, have been on strike since June 1, 2012, to protest unfair labor practices. After the workers requested that Palermo's recognize their union and bargain with them over serious workplace problems, Palermo's fired more than 75 workers. Many workers at Palermo's face serious health hazards, have no sick days and make little more than the minimum wage.
Raul De la Torres, a Palermo's worker, said,
Everyone—workers, consumers and the community—have a reason to be very concerned about Palermo’s actions. It’s shameful the company still refuses to recognize the workers’ concerns or hear the voices of the community.