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Worker Rights Consortium report re alleged anti-union activities of Palermo's

On 5 February 2013 the Worker Rights Consortium released a report about Palermo’s, a manufacturer of frozen pizzas.  The report alleges that Palermo’s has “committed serious violations of worker rights and that these violations remain ongoing.”  In particular the report alleges that the company used an audit by US Immigration and Customs enforcement “as a pretext to terminate…approximately 75 striking workers”  in an attempt to "thwart" unionisation attempts.  It also says that: Palermo’s hostility toward unionisation is reflected in the company’s decision to hire Jackson Lewis, a law firm with a “reputation for advising employers in the use of aggressive tactics to defeat workers’ unionization drives”. 

Palermo’s has a sponsorship agreement with University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletics and the Wisconsin Union as well as being a supplier of Roundy’s, a University of Wisconsin-Madison licensee.  The report alleges that the actions of Palermo’s “violated provision of university codes of conduct that protect workers' rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining”.

Below is a link to the report by Worker Rights Consortium as well as a short summary of the report's findings.

WRC Factory Investigation: Palermo Villa, Inc. (summary), 5 Feb 2013

WRC Assessment re Palermo (Milwaukee, WI) (full report) [PDF], 5 Feb 2013

Both Palermo's and University of Wisconsin-Madison have issued public responses to the report:

Worker Rights Consortium Report Ignores the Facts [PDF], Palermo’s, 6 Feb 2013

Ward update to governance groups on Palermo’s Pizza issue, David Ward, Interim Chancellor, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, 7 Feb 2013 (David Ward’s response also refers to a decision by the US National Labor Relations Board)

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Jackson Lewis to respond to the concerns raised in the report by Worker Rights Consortium, but it did not respond.

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