Milwaukee, WI - A few blocks from Brewers stadium, picketing in hot sun, 150 plant employees of Palermo's Pizza are out on strike.
These workers, many Latino, walk the picket line each day, demanding job reinstatement, the recognition of the Palermo’s Workers Union and a just contract that addresses health and safety concerns, among other things.
Striking worker Roberto Silva says, "We want a union and we demand justice."
The strikers are fed up with the way they are being treated. Intimidation, harassment and unsafe working conditions brought problems to a tipping point. Ten days ago, on June 1, these workers walked off the job and now face termination. Using termination and immigration audits as tactics to stop the union organizing, Palermo’s Pizza has not fazed the striking workers.
Solidarity is pouring in from Voces de la Frontera, faith and labor leaders, local labor unions, the national AFL-CIO and Occupy Milwaukee. A petition has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board. There will be elections for a union July 6.
Tiffany Strong of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) brought water to the picket line. "Every worker should have the right to organize and create a union. We should boycott Palermo’s until they agree to allow these workers to unionize and give them the respect and the rights they deserve. This is not just a workers’ fight or immigration fight, but a fight for humanity."
Peter Adamczak of Occupy Milwaukee has been at the strike several days, helping to mobilize people and bring supplies. "Occupy supports this strike because it is a direct challenge to those who feel emboldened after Scott Walker's victory against the recall. This strike is a sure sign that the working class has not given up!"