Voces de la Frontera: National Labor Day events focus on Milwaukee Palermo strike

CONTACT: Christine Neumann-Ortiz 414-736-2835

Brian Rothgery 414-207-8165

Members of Palermo Workers Union march in parades and featured at local, national Labor Day celebrations across the country

MILWAUKEE, WI – The now three month old strike at Palermo’s was a focus of Milwaukee’s annual Labor Day parade, 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 and balloons.

Strikers 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 striking Palermo worker Raul de la Torre. It just makes me proud to be a part of Milwaukee’s labor family.”

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.

Palermo’s refusal to recognize the union and the resulting strike action has prompted a national boycott of Palermo products across the country. The boycott is focused on Costco Wholesale, the largest distributor of Palermo’s products, under the Palermo’s and “Kirkland” brands.

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.”