Economy and Business
Tue July 3, 2012
Striking Palermo Pizza workers gather thousands of petitions of support
Striking workers at Milwaukee’s Palermo Pizza plant have delivered thousands of petitions they say are from people who support their effort. Some workers at the plant have been on strike for a month.
Labor organizers helped collect nearly 15,000 petitions from around the country in support of Palermo’s workers. A crowd of about 50 gathered outside of the Milwaukee factory to demonstrate and to help deliver the petitions to company management.
Joseph Ellwanger is a local reverend who helped deliver the petitions. He says the striking employees want to be treated with dignity. “This is what we ask of Palermo’s: Just treat your workers like human beings, and talk to them the way you talk to your shareholders and people at your board table.”
Striking workers say unsafe working conditions are the main reason for trying to unionize. In a statement, Palermo’s marketing director Chris Dresselhuys says the strikers' allegation are not true and there is no evidence to back up their statements.
Palermo worker Raul de la Torre was among those demonstrating outside the plant. The man translating for de la Torre says that the company is trying to conceal the facts about the strike, “but we won’t stop spreading the word about the unsafe work conditions in the plant and the intimidation and threats we have received simply for demanding a voice on the job.”
The statement from Palermo’s spokesperson says the petitions have been turned over to the company’s legal counsel.