Tag Archives: No Justice No Pizza

Coming Together to Support Striking Palermo’s Pizza Workers

Local, National, News 1 Reply
A daughter of a striking Palermo's Pizza worker comes in for a closer look at Saturday's BOYCOTT PALERMOS message.

A daughter of a striking Palermo’s Pizza worker comes in for a closer look at Saturday’s BOYCOTT PALERMOS message.

Milwaukee, WI – This past Saturday’s Overpass Light Brigade bridge action with the striking Palermo’s Pizza workers provided a ton of inspiring and moving moments, but one was particularly poignant. At the conclusion of the event, in a tremendous gesture of solidarity, a member of Madison’s Solidarity Sing Along, Chaous, made an announcement of support that brought some to tears.

Chaous, on behalf of Madison’s Solidarity Sing Along, announces she has a truckload full of groceries, diapers, other supplies for the striking workers as well a cash donation for the worker strike fund.

 

 

 

 

Through the use of a Spanish translator, Chaous announced to the striking workers that she and other members of the Solidarity Sing Along had filled up her red pick-up truck (Which Chaous decked out with homemade anti-Palermo’s Pizza messages) with groceries, diapers, baby formula, and virtually anything else a family would need while enduring the hardship of a strike. She then vowed to again fill up the truck and return next Saturday with another full load. Finally, Chaous handed Voces de la Frontera’s Christine Neumann Ortiz an envelope with over $360.00 in it for the worker strike fund, also collected at a recent Solidarity Sing Along. The striking workers and others in attendance were clearly moved as an impromptu chant of “Yes, we can! Yes, we can!” immediately rose up after the surprise announcement. In a night full of inspiring and moving moments, this was definitely one of the most galvanizing. The striking Palermo’s Pizza workers left knowing that other workers stand in solidarity with them. Pizzeros Unidos!

The red pick-up truck that was filled up by the Solidarity Sing Along with groceries and other needed supplies for the striking Palermo’s Pizza workers.

  Here are things you can do to help the striking workers immediately:

 - Donate to the strike fund: https://www.wepay.com/donations/170361

- Sign & share the petition: http://signon.org/sign/tell-palermos-pizza-stop.fb10?source=s.fb&r_by=2739117

- Join the picket line at 3310 W. Canal Street in Miwaukee! Bring supplies (food, water, umbrellas for the sun, signs, music, etc)

- Join the official Strike Facebook page, “Support Striking Palermo’s Workers”

- Spread the word!

For more information about the ongoing strike: www.vdlf.org

Striking Palermo’s Workers to Join Overpass Light Brigade for Historic Bridge Action

Local, National, News, Regional Leave a reply
OLB's first action in solidarity with the striking workers was to take the LED letters "B-O-Y-C-O-T-T-" to the Palermo's site for some photos.

The workers of Palermo’s Pizza have been on strike for three weeks.

Milwaukee, WI - The Palermo’s Pizza workers strike against ownership is moving into its fourth week and one thing that’s for certain is that support for the workers is building. A national boycott of all Palermo’s Pizza products is starting to firmly take hold, and according to theuptake.org, SEIU (Service Employees International Union), AFL – CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations), and USW (the United Steelworkers Union) have all thrown their support behind the striking workers and boycott. Several state politicians have also come out in support of the workers. These types of support and action are necessary to help spread the word but the striking workers have also seen strong support from another local community group helping them to get the word out, the Overpass Light Brigade (OLB).

OLB’s first action in solidarity with the striking workers was to take the LED letters “B-O-Y-C-O-T-T-” to the Palermo’s site for some photos. (Photo courtesy of “Support Striking Palermo’s Workers”)

The Overpass Light Brigade consists of a committed network of activists / volunteers called “holders of the light”. Each holder carries a single brilliantly lit LED letter and assumes their position in a targeted political message, agreed upon days before. These messages are then ceremoniously marched out onto busy pedestrian bridges overlooking busy interstate highways for Wisconsin drivers and passerby’s to see. These bridge actions have become quite popular and an effective way to get underreported messages out to new audiences. This is exactly what OLB has worked to do with the Palermo’s strike and boycott. The OLB’s first effort however was not the usual bridge action they have been accustomed to. Rather, it was an action in which 20 volunteers walked the letters “B-O-Y-C-O-T-T” around the Palermo’s Pizza company grounds, as pictures were taken in different locations. The photos and video created from this action were then disseminated widely through the group’s vast social media network to help spread the word of the strike and boycott.

OLB and several striking workers collaborated to spell out a “B-O-Y-C-O-T-T- P-A-L-E-R-M-O-S” message. (Photo courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade)

A week later OLB took out a new message of support for the striking workers, “B-O-Y-C-O-T-T  P-A-L-E-R-M-O-S”. They chose an overpass over a busy stretch of I-94, just west of Miller Park, where more than 20 holders of the light showed up. The action was unfolding as usual when nearly forty minutes into the action something unforgettable happened. Fourteen striking Palermo’s Pizza workers and their family members arrived and enthusiastically relieved veteran holders of the light in the message. The workers were clearly moved by the experience and openly appreciative of the gesture of solidarity. It proved to be a very powerful demonstration for everyone involved as well as effective at getting the workers message out. The striking workers who took part in the action quickly expressed an interest in doing a future bridge action, stating that they knew other workers who would want to take part. They confidently claimed they would bring enough striking workers to hold an entire LED message and a date was set for Saturday, June 23rd.

Occupy Riverwest will be streaming this Saturday’s historic OLB bridge action with the striking Palermo’s workers. (Photo courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade)

Occupy Riverwest will be on hand for this historic OLB bridge action with the striking workers and we look forward to bringing you to the event virtually through live stream video. We will have two different live-streamers sending video feeds to OccupyWI, where the double footage will be produced into one broadcast for your viewing pleasure. That is, of course, if you can’t be on the bridge in-person to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event. If you can and want to attend this bridge action, contact us or OLB through our Facebook pages with your email address so we can get you on the email list for future OLB actions. The window just below this post will go live this Saturday, June 23rd at 8:20 p. (CST). Just come back to this post Saturday night and watch the live action here.


Live video for mobile from Ustream

Here are things you can do to help the striking workers immediately:

- Donate to the strike fund: https://www.wepay.com/donations/170361

- Sign & share the petition: http://signon.org/sign/tell-palermos-pizza-stop.fb10?source=s.fb&r_by=2739117

- Join the picket line at 3310 W. Canal Street in Miwaukee! Bring supplies (food, water, umbrellas for the sun, signs, music, etc)

- Join the official Strike Facebook page, “Support Striking Palermo’s Workers”

- Spread the word!

For more information about the ongoing strike: www.vdlf.org

Support Growing for Striking Palermo’s Pizza Workers

Local, National, News 3 Replies
Striking Palermo's Pizza workers walk the picket line.

This banner, created by local Riverwest artist Paul Kjelland, has been embraced by the striking workers.

Milwaukee, WI - Three weeks ago over 150 Palermo’s Pizza workers walked off the job because they believed union busting tactics were being employed by the company. Worker safety conditions at Palermo’s Pizza reached a level so concerning to workers that they felt compelled to protect themselves. The workers collectively decided that protection would best come through the formation of a union. Workers claim that when they submitted an adequate number of signatures to the company to form a union (“majority sign-up”), Palermo’s immediately launched a campaign of intimidation, and according to Truth Out, “instructed employees to begin training replacement workers from a temp agency, and gave employees a letter stating that they had 28 days to verify their authorization to be working in the United States.” These company letters arrived immediately following the company’s finding out the workers were organizing. An interview conducted, after the letters were sent, with an ICE official later proved this Palermo’s Pizza company claim to be false. Workers have been on strike ever since the walk out and support from the surrounding community seems to be gradually building.

Striking Palermo’s Pizza workers walk the picket line.

The workers have walked a picket line in front of the company for three weeks and the number of their supporters seem to be growing. The workers shocking stories of dangerous working conditions (2 separate cases of worker amputee accidents in which the company was find by OSHA) and being forced into working 70 – 80 hour workweeks have been falling upon more and more ears and workers from around Milwaukee are starting to lend their support. On Thursday night AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Local 212 held a fundraiser for the workers’ strike fund and raised over $4,000 dollars.

This shameful banner was posted near the worker picket line by Palermo’s Pizza Company officials on Friday morning.

 

The next morning strikers were just getting their picket line started when Palermo’s Pizza officials posted a banner right along side the worker picket line that shamefully stated, “A Union Will Not Change Your Immigration Status. Only The Right Documents Will”. This move further emboldened the resolve of both the strikers and their supporters who immediately organized to come and show support on the picket line.

Milwaukee educators showed up in full force to walk the picket line with striking Palermo’s Pizza workers.

 

 

 

 

That Saturday morning, MTEA (Milwaukee Teachers Education Association) members showed up at 11:00 to start the worker picket line before any of the striking workers had even arrived. Close to thirty educators and other supporters were already walking the line when the striking workers arrived, clearly invigorated by the unexpected show of support from the teachers. The chants grew louder and the picket line moved more confidently than previous days as the new found support seem to breath life into the workers.

Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein walked the Palermo’s Pizza worker picket line.

 

 

As the number of supporters and workers on the picket line swelled to around 100, another supporter arrived. Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein put on her walking shoes and joined the picket line, speaking to striking workers and voicing her support for the workers struggle.

 

 

Madison’s Solidarity Sing Along joined the worker picket line and later convened a sing along under the 35th Street Viaduct.

 

 

Around noon, about a dozen members of Madison’s Solidarity Sing Along gathered under the 35th Street Viaduct to begin singing pro-labor songs in support of the strike. The timing couldn’t have been better as the skies, which had been threatening rain all morning, finally opened up making the Sing Along’s placement under the viaduct crucial. Striking workers and supporters moved under the bridge where a spirited and unifying sing-along occurred.

Striking Palermo’s Pizza workers and their families held individual LED letters in the Overpass Light Brigade message “BOYCOTT PALERMO’S” on Saturday night.

 

 

Later that night the Overpass Light Brigade took out a message of solidarity with the striking workers to an overpass bridge over I-94 around State Fair Park (More on this bridge action). The message read, “BOYCOTT PALERMO’S” with each individual LED letter being held by a striking worker or family member. The workers were thrilled to participate in this meaningful action that helped get the word out about Palermo’s actions and it once again showed them that they are not alone in the struggle. Seeing public and private workers walking the picket line together is something that is surely very scary to those in power and if we expect to create positive change in our world we need to continue to see this collective action.

This Overpass Light Brigade movie captures the events of Saturday night.

This Occupy Riverwest movie captures Saturday afternoons events.

Please come and join the picket line. The striking workers have proven to be steadfast in their conviction to win this fight but they gain more strength from the presence and support of others and as fellow 99 percenters we owe it to them to help. Here are things you can do to help immediately:

- Donate to the strike fund: https://www.wepay.com/donations/170361

- Sign & share the petition: http://signon.org/sign/tell-palermos-pizza-stop.fb10?source=s.fb&r_by=2739117

- Join the picket line at 3310 W. Canal Street in Miwaukee! Bring supplies (food, water, umbrellas for the sun, signs, music, etc)

- Join the official Strike Facebook page, “Support Striking Palermo’s Workers”

- Spread the word!

For more information about the ongoing strike: www.vdlf.org