Milwaukee – Striking undocumented Palermo’s Pizza workers and their supporters held a rally in front of Palermo production facility this week to thank supports.
Palermo workers revealed plans to take their national boycott campaign to a second major national chain the Family Dollar, a supermarket chain and large purchaser of Palermo’s pizza.
Voces de la Frontera and labor leaders organized the rally to announcing their appeal of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that had dismissed most of the unfair labor practices filed against Palermo’s Pizza.
Union leaders at the event included Maria Somma, organizing coordinator for the United
Steel Worker’s union and the President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Phil Neuenfeldt. Democratic State Representative Jon Richards was also at the rally. Richards spoke more about the problems with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) than he spoke about the workers.
Workers announced that they filed a formal appeal of the regional NLRB ruling which dismissed their charges that Palermo’s used an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audit as a tool of retaliation for union organizing.
However, Palermo’s spokesman Chris Dresselhuys, in a prepared statement said that “the statements made today by Voces de la Frontera are simply the latest effort in their long running smear campaign against Palermo’s…”
The statement released by Dresselhuys points out that the National Labor Relations Board’s dismissed all significant charges filed by Voces de la Frontera. “Voces’ leadership has become increasingly desperate to conceal the deception they have perpetrated against our former employees, the Hispanic community and the City of Milwaukee as a whole”, the statement said.
Palermo’s states that Voces de la Frontera continues to “prevent our employees from having their voices heard” by having their right to vote for a union blocked by the political maneuverings of the group.
“Palermo’s is working with the NLRB to reconcile the disposition of a small handful of employees who were not affected by the I.C.E. audit but who chose to abandon their jobs to the satisfaction of all parties, however the actions taken by our attackers will now delay that resolution from occurring and further disrupt those worker’s lives.
“The Federal government and the people of Milwaukee have seen through the deplorable deception and innumerable lies told by Voces de la Frontera over the past six months and have rejected them completely. Palermo’s stands with Mayor Tom Barrett, County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Maria Monreal-Cameron in calling for Voces de la Frontera to end its smear campaign and allow Palermo’s employees to vote” said Dresselhuys.
As of press time Voces de la Frontera has not responded to email question or phone calls by the Spanish Journal.