Steelworkers urge pizza boycott outside Merrillville Costco

2012-09-22T19:59:00Z 2012-09-23T00:16:39Z Steelworkers urge pizza boycott outside Merrillville CostcoSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
September 22, 2012 7:59 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Members of the United Steelworkers waved signs and distributed information Saturday to encourage shoppers at Costco to boycott products made by Palermo Villa Inc.

"We're asking Costco to notify (Palermo Villa Inc.) to be fair to its workers," said Sal Aguilar, one of about two dozen United Steelworkers members posted at a parking lot entrance to the store, 1310 E. 79th Ave.

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.

Costco officials at the Merrillville store declined comment on the rally. Officials at Costco corporate headquarters did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

Only a few shoppers driving toward the store on the brisk, windy Saturday morning appeared to slow for the demonstrators' message.

Costco sells Palermo's Pizza under its Kirkland brand, according to information from the United Steelworkers.

United Steelworks organizer Robin Rich said a Costco supplier code of conduct is meant to protect the rights of workers who produce Costco merchandise.

"We're asking them to live up to that code," she said.

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