Supporters of Palermo workers call for pizza boycott

2012-08-25T00:00:00Z Supporters of Palermo workers call for pizza boycottBy Bowdeya Tweh, (219) 933-3316

MERRILLVILLE | Members of the United Steelworkers and the community are expected to distribute information to Costco shoppers Saturday encouraging them to boycott products that Palermo Villa Inc. makes.

Workers from the Milwaukee-based maker of Palermo's and Kirkland frozen pizza have been on strike since June 1 in protest of unfair labor practices, according to the AFL-CIO. Workers are seeking union recognition and reinstatement after the company fired more than 80 workers.

Advocates for Palermo workers are expected to be at the 1310 E. 79th Ave. location from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The action in Merrillville is among several occurring around the country this weekend.

"Costco has a reputation for being a decent employer and having a Supplier Code to be sure that what they sell is not made by workers who are abused," said Ephrin Jenkins, a leader in the "Next Generation" group within the United Steelworkers and coordinator of the Merrillville action. "We're asking that they immediately respond to the people who make their Kirkland frozen pizza, and find a different supplier."

Costco is a major customer of Palermo and Palermo produces the warehouse retailer's Kirkland private-label brand.

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