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Sat Jul 28, 2012, 02:10 AM

Fight Over Immigrant Firings (Palermo's Pizza fired immigrant workers who tried to form union)

MILWAUKEE — On May 27, about 150 workers from Palermo’s Pizza factory here, representing three-fourths of its production workers, met to sign a petition saying they wanted to unionize. They say they gave the petition to management two days later.

Around the same time, Palermo’s delivered letters to 89 immigrant workers, asking them to provide documentation verifying that they had the right to work in the United States. Ten days later, almost all of them were fired.

Labor organizers assert that Palermo’s, one of the nation’s largest producers of frozen pizza, was trying to snuff out a unionization drive in its infancy. The company says it was merely responding to warnings it had received from federal immigration authorities to fire unauthorized workers or face hefty fines.

Scores of Palermo’s workers have been on strike since June 1 to protest this immigration crackdown, as well as what they say were poor wages and working conditions. Day after day, the strikers picket outside the factory, often in 90-degree heat, chanting, “No justice, no pizza.” Labor unions across the nation have rallied behind them and called for a boycott of Palermo’s products.

(...)

The fight also demonstrates how the Obama administration’s campaign to toughen immigration enforcement in workplaces can increase employers’ leverage to derail unionization efforts.

(...)

Labor leaders say companies often taken advantage of workers’ illegal status to violate wage and safety laws or otherwise exploit them. When immigrant workers band together to protest or seek to unionize, union leaders say, companies sometimes invite in immigration officials to deliberately undercut them.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/business/striking-palermos-pizza-workers-say-immigrants-were-fired-to-stop-a-union.html?pagewanted=all

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Reply Fight Over Immigrant Firings (Palermo's Pizza fired immigrant workers who tried to form union) (Original post)
alp227 Jul 2012 OP
kelly1mm Jul 2012 #1
Lionessa Jul 2012 #2

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 03:17 AM

1. Isn't it against the law to work in the US if you are an immigrant without a

work permit? I also think it is against the law to knowingly employee non-US citizens who lack proper documentation on the right to work here.

While the timing seems fishy, what is the problem here?

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 04:06 AM

2. +1

 

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