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Palermo Pizza wins labor complaint


MILWAUKEE (WSAU)  The National Labor Relations Board said a Milwaukee pizza-maker did nothing wrong last year, when it fired 75 workers as employees tried to form a union. A decision yesterday from the board’s general counsel in Washington paves the way for a union vote at Palermo Villa Incorporated, which makes Palermo’s frozen pizza. The new ruling upholds a decision made last November by the N-L-R-B’s Milwaukee regional office.

Almost 100 workers at the Milwaukee plant went on strike last June, saying the company refused to recognize a petition to form a union. At the time, the company was performing an immigration audit to determine if all its workers were in the U-S legally. The audit was later held up by the strike. Palermo’s fired the 75 workers a day later.

The Milwaukee Hispanic group Voces de la Frontera accused Palermo’s of using the audit to stop the proposed union – but the firm disagreed, and said it was only following immigration laws. Palermo’s says it’s always been willing to allow a union vote, and the new ruling will make it happen.

Meanwhile, a dozen protestors were removed from a building at U-W Madison yesterday. They demanded that the Wisconsin sports program end its promotional ties with Palermo’s, due to the firings.