University of Washington students protest Palermo’s Pizza at Costco headquarters

August 28, 2012

By Staff

University of Washington student activists rallied at Costco’s Issaquah headquarters Aug. 24 to protest the chain’s affiliation with Palermo’s Pizza.

The members of UW United Students Against Sweatshops, a labor rights group, demanded to meet Costco CEO Craig Jelinek to request the company end a contract with Milwaukee-based Palermo’s Pizza. The pizza maker is under criticism for labor practices at a Wisconsin plant.

Costco is a major purchaser of Palermo’s Pizza products.

“Costco, a company with an admirable record toward its own employees, has an opportunity to take a stand,” Leo Baunach, UW United Students Against Sweatshops member, said in a statement. “Costco should end their business relationship with Palermo’s and do right by the workers who are fighting for fair treatment in their workplace.”

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One Response to “University of Washington students protest Palermo’s Pizza at Costco headquarters”

  1. Students Back Palermo’s Pizza Boycott on September 6th, 2012 9:43 am

    [...] To represent this, the delegation delivered a cardboard pizza to the Costco headquarters staff, and asked that it be given to the CEO. Almost all of the pizza appeared normal, except for one piece that was rotten and covered in severed fingers. The display, counter-posing Costco values and Palermo’s actions, was an all too real reminder of the health and safety record of the pizza factory. A pizza cutter was included, symbolically urging CEO Craig Jelinek to ‘cut Palermo’s out of the Costco pie.’ In a troubling move, Costco refused to send anyone to talk to the delegation, claiming they ‘were already aware of the issue.’  Nevertheless, several employees from the corporate offices gathered on the stairs and in other parts of the lobby to watch what was happening. Security tried to have the group removed from the Costco store across the street when it began handing out flyers educating customers about the Palermo’s dispute. Costco was clearly worried, and USAS delivered a letter asking for timely action on the issue and promising that we would be in communication with our allies across the country about Costco’s response. For more on the action, see articles in The Stand and The Issaquah Press. [...]

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