The fist, again
August 16, 2012
What to do when people of modest means and training find employment with a growing, private company providing more than 450 jobs in a town with some of Wisconsin’s worst unemployment numbers?
If you’re the AFL-CIO, you do your best to destroy the company. What else is new?
Last Thursday, the big union bosses endorsed a nationwide boycott of Palermo’s Pizza products. A minority of workers—between one-fourth and one-sixth of the company’s Milwaukee work force—have been striking since June, and in a Thursday press release, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said “The twelve million union families of the AFL-CIO are proud to stand with these Wisconsin workers who have bravely joined together for a voice on the job.”
Well, not exactly. If Trumka’s 12 million union families really were standing with Palermo’s workers, they’d be buying more of their product instead of playing along with the efforts of a minority to wreck the company and destroy hundreds of badly-needed jobs.
The dispute appears rooted in questions about immigration status and Department of Homeland Security inquiries, and Palermo’s trying to meet its legal obligations, much to the dismay of pro-illegal immigration group Voces de la Frontera.
Palermo’s seems to have infuriated Voces and union organizers by insisting that its employees have a chance to vote on union representation rather than cave in to demands that the union be recognized without an election. Voting had been scheduled for July 6, but that’s postponed because the United Food and Commercial Workers Union has muscled in, trying to commandeer the local organizing effort.
For rank-and-file Palermo’s employees, we suppose it’s nice to be wanted. Right up to the moment the unions fighting over them end up eliminating their jobs.