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Palermo's Pizza has been the target of more lies and misinformation than any company I've ever seen. They dared to build a factory in the city and yet civic leaders are doing nothing to support them, a sure sign to every other business that they are not welcome here.
Is it any wonder why Kohls turned down over $100 million to move a few miles down the road?
Let's look at the latest information being spread by Voces de la Frontera, via their mouthpiece at the Journal Sentinel:
Neumann-Ortiz has files dating from 2008 that show worker petitions complaining about the company's process of checking Social Security numbers of some workers, and about health and safety issues. In 2008 she held a meeting with the vice president for administration and Palermo's president and CEO Giacomo Fallucca to discuss some of these issues, according to correspondence between Voces and company officials.
This is wacky, I know, but aren't businesses required by law to verify the work eligibilty of people they hire?
The question is rhetorical.
In 2010 and 2011 there were more worker complaints, ranging from scheduling and production to discrimination and favoritism by some supervisors. In November 2011 workers decided to form a union, Neumann-Ortiz said.
Chris Dresselhuys, director of marketing for Palermo's, said he was unaware of any of these meetings or petitions.
Ok. Prove it. Give me some documentation. I'm not taking Ms. Neumann-Ortiz' word.
About the same time, Palermo workers filed a petition signed by 150 workers asking the company to recognize the union. The company refused.
The company employs about 450 workers. Because 25% requested a union, the company should give in? Last I checked, everyone should have a say. Or at least a majority.
Voces filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, contending the immigration audit was used by the company to thwart the union effort.
But Dresselhuys said the company was following the law and faced criminal and civil penalties if it failed to get the necessary worker documentation.
Ding! Finally, a fact.
Voces is supporting illegal immigrants. This is a straightforward case where people who shouldn't have been working in this nation, were. Now Voces is throwing every liberal talking point they can at Palermo's in an attempt to delay an actual union vote.
Why does this matter?
Because the company itself has said that either a union vote be taken or Voces shut the hell up (my phrasing). Voces is stalling, however, because they know they have no chance of winning. So they're waiting for the NLRB (a group whose sole mission is "workers rights").
"Our involvement with the immigration workforce extends beyond Palermo's and Voces," said Maria Soma, assistant to the director of organizing for the steelworkers. The union's work with the carwash campaign led to relationships with worker centers around the country, she said.
The workers, like Silva, said they didn't count on a prolonged strike. Neumann-Ortiz, too, said she didn't anticipate the strike would drag on and that the company would take such a hard line.
What Christine Neumann-Ortiz really wants to do is make a name for herself like the group in California that unionized a carwash. Make a big enough splash and suddenly the organization you founded means more than a perpetual annoyance to people in your city. It means that you're a national nuisance.