Palermo's celebrates labor board decision

CREATED Nov 21, 2012 - UPDATED: Nov 21, 2012

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  • Protesters at Palermo’s pizza, where workers have been striking since June 1 for union recognition, picket Friday on Canal St. Voces de la Frontera’s efforts are part of the worker center movement. Image by Michael Sears

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Federal labor officials say Milwaukee based-Palermo's Pizza did not manipulate an immigration audit as retaliation for workers' efforts to form a union.

Voces de la Frontera had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The immigrant-rights group has been trying to organize workers there.

Irv Gottschalk, head of the Milwaukee NLRB office, said Wednesday he did find merit to the group's claim that when workers went on strike June 1 they were threatened with losing their jobs. He says Palermo's has expressed interest in working out a settlement for that.

Voces' de la Frontera said they were glad for those NLRB's findings but disappointed about the other complaint. They plan to appeal to the NLRB in Washington, D.C.

Palermo's is hailing decision as a major victory. 

"Those claims are utterly baseless," Palermo Marketing Director Chris Dresselhuys told told WTMJ's Jeff Wagner.  Click to hear the whole conversation.

Voces released a statement following the ruling:

"Under today’s decision, a significant number of workers will get their jobs back and be awarded back pay because of Palermo's misconduct.  We are disappointed however, that the regional office of the NLRB did not issue a complaint some important aspects of our charge.  We will appeal this failing to the NLRB in Washington to correct errors these errors."