February 21, 2013
To: SPEEA Council Delegates
From: Rick Hoffman, Dave Baine, Joel Funfar and Brent McFarlane
Subject: PRESUBMITTED NEW BUSINESS: Motion in Support of Palermo Workers Union
About 150 workers from Palermo’s Pizza factory in Milwaukee, WI, representing three-fourths of its production workers, have been on strike since last June 1. The Palermo Workers Union is fighting to get respect and dignity on the job, having fired workers reinstated, and making Palermo’s CEO, Giacomo Fallucca, recognize their union.
Here’s what they have accomplished:
· More than 17,000 people signed the petition launched to get Fallucca to do the right thing and recognize the union. Hundreds more made calls on the day they tried to deliver the petition.
· When Fallucca refused to listen to them, they expanded their campaign to Costco. Since then, 15,000 people have sent Costco e-mails and hundreds of calls have been made to encourage Costco to get involved.
· Thousands helped spread the message about their strike to their friends on social media by sharing videos, photos and other content, posting messages on Costco and Palermo’s Facebook pages, and more.
· Even more have walked with Palermo workers on the picket line or joined a solidarity action in their city.
· Last month, many supporters joined their call to get UW-Madison to cut its contracts with Palermo’s by posting a message on Facebook and Twitter and calling UW-Madison.
All of this has led to major victories. Businesses across Milwaukee have pulled Palermo’s from their shelves. Students at campuses across the country have called on their universities to cut contracts—with some schools close to doing so. Costco has begun an investigation of Palermo’s over the concerns raised by the workers. Elected officials across Wisconsin have put pressure on Fallucca and Palermo’s management to do the right thing.
It is moved that the SPEEA Council support the struggle by the Palermo Workers Union,
And it is further moved that the SPEEA Council recommends a contribution of $5,000 be made to assist the Palermo Workers Union in their struggle.