Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

Protests at Palermo’s not good for business

Future business grand openings in Milwaukee could depend on it.

By - Sep 6th, 2012 09:43 pm

While I certainly support the right of any group of workers to organize, I must state that the protest action at Palermo’s Pizza plant in the Menomonee Valley is concerning to me.

I believe the call by protest leaders for a nationwide boycott of Palermo’s is the wrong way to go – it will only result in hurting the company, its workers (many who reside in my district and the very people the protest leaders are claiming they’re trying to help-!), and the city as a whole. I’m disappointed that the leaders decided to call for the boycott, but I’m also disappointed (again) in our mayor.

The mayor’s silence on the Palermo’s situation has been deafening, and I’m amazed at his timidity when it comes to the protest. One would think such an important employer and business partner as Palermo’s would deserve more action from Milwaukee’s chief executive.

This is especially concerning because earlier today I sat down with a prospective business owner (someone looking to possibly open a business here in Milwaukee) who indicated strong reservations about our city because of the action at Palermo’s (and the lack of help from the mayor).

At a time when Palermo’s has employed many hundreds of workers – from all over the city (including many challenged neighborhoods) – the City of Milwaukee must be more supportive of Palermo’s, doing what is appropriate to help bring closure to this impasse.

Again, I bear no ill will toward the protesters and I support their right to organize. I just think this national boycott call is going way overboard, and I call on the mayor to get off his couch, live up to his claim that we are truly “open for business,” and get involved to help settle this thing.

Future business grand openings in Milwaukee could depend on it.

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