by Ethan HollenbergerSince June of last year, Wisconsin liberals have been urging a
boycott of Palermo's Pizza Villa, Inc. in Milwaukee. The Left has
been organizing and mobilizing around a scandal proven false by the
National Labor Relations Board.
Nearly 100 workers went on strike on June 1, 2012, when the
company refused to recognize an effort by workers to form a union.
At the same time, Palermo's Pizza was going through an audit by
Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On June 8, 75 workers were
fired for failure to submit necessary paperwork that would grant
them a legal work permit.
The efforts have been led by the far-left group Voces de La
Frontera, a key supporter of Governor Scott Walker's recall
election. Voces submitted a grievance with the National Labor
Relations Board immediately following the workers' firings. In
November, the NLRB ruled in Palermo's favor stating that the
company acted lawfully when firing the undocumented workers.
Very active in grassroots organizing, Voces has 14 student
groups around the Milwaukee area, including Youth Empowered in the
Struggle, a group which is recognized by Marquette University as a
Palermo's Pizza is the exclusive pizza of Marquette University
and the BMO Harris Bradley Center, where the Marquette men's basketball team plays. YES protested at the recent men's home game vs. the University of Notre
Dame on Saturday March 2.
According to a Facebook event to remind supporters, the rally was organized by the Marquette University Coalition
for Worker Rights. YES announced the event Friday on Facebook. A Marquette
administrator said that the event was not registered with the Office of Student
Development and moreover, the MU Coalition for Worker Rights is not recognized by
the university. University regulations do not allow any club to use Marquette
or MU as the first word of their name. These liberal students may have
intentionally skirted University rules. If a club wants to host any event on or off campus, they
must pre-register and get approval from OSD.
The club wrote in a February 14 op-ed to the Marquette Tribune:
"In order to pressure Palermo's into honoring the strikers'
reasonable demands and to rehire the workers that they illegally
fired, Youth Empowered in the Struggle is supporting the national
effort to boycott Palermo's products."
Palermo's Pizza provides thousands of dollars in their contract
with the university. Furthermore, the family-owned company is active
in philanthropic efforts, including a focus on fighting hunger
and helping children in need in Haiti. Palermo's also offers
non-profit groups a fundraising
The liberal students are looking to destroy a business that has
spent supporting the local community, not to mention the students
at Marquette University. Palermo's was
vindicated by the NLRB in November, and as of now,
Marquette is sticking with Palermo's.
Ethan Hollenberger, age 22, is a conservative activist from
Wisconsin. While in college, he was a founding member of the campus' Young
American's for Freedom chapter. He can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @EHollenberger.