National Week of Action Begins at Costco Stores

Students, activists and working people stand in support of Palermo’s Pizza workers

(Washington DC, Aug 27) Beginning today, community activists and workers in more than 20 cities will be participating in national week of action this weekend outside Costco stores. At stores across the country, events will inform Costco customers of the worker abuses at Palermo’s Pizza Factory. Costco is the largest retailer of Palermo products.

Workers from Palermo’s Pizza, a large frozen pizza manufacturer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have been on strike since June 1, 2012 to protest actions that have kept them from having a voice on the job. The workers are seeking recognition of their choice to form a union and reinstatement after their employer fired over 75 workers. Many workers at Palermo’s face serious health hazards, have no sick days and make little more than the minimum wage. Earlier this month, the AFL-CIO endorsed a national boycott of Palermo products.

“The twelve million union families of the AFL-CIO are proud to stand with these workers who have bravely joined together for a voice on the job,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. “Their courage and strength are a model for working people around the country whose rights are being violated and voices silenced. We hope that this boycott will encourage Palermo to finally respect its workers who work so hard for them every day.”

Costco has a Supplier Code of Conduct that, among other requirements, holds vendors to a high standard with respect to employees’ rights to assemble. Supporters of the Palermo Workers Union are asking Costco to follow through with its commitment and help resolve this issue in the right way for its customers and employees at Palermo’s.

To kick-off the national week of action, United Students Against Sweatshops will be delivering a letter to the CEO of Costco during an event at its headquarters just outside Seattle, Washington, urging them to end their relationship with Palermo’s Pizza.

Cities participating in the National Days of Action include:  Los Angeles, CA, San Jose, CA, Seattle, WA, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Chicago, Il, Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Madison Heights, MI, Middleton, WI, Grafton, WI, Pewaukee, WI, San Antonio, TX, El Paso, TX, Austin, TX, Minneapolis, MN, Gary, IN.

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