ACORN and Big Labor: Two Peas in a Pod


via ACORN and Big Labor: Two Peas in a Pod.

With the unearthing of a memo detailing an ACORN scheme to use “dirty money hungry lawyers” to force “employers to open up negotiations” and its plan to create “a model for [union] organizing” that “building trades [unions] do not have,” ACORN almost assuredly fits the federal definition of a labor organization under federal law 29 CFR 401.9.

But, the detailed scheme gets even better and closer to the line that makes ACORN a labor union.


ACORN’s bombshell talks about an arrangement to “share dues” with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and opens up a whole new array of issues between these newly discovered Siamese twins.

Add in ACORN’s plans to create union organizing partnerships with other labor unions and Big Labor funded auxiliary organizations, and it becomes a tautology that ACORN is a big part of Big Labor.

These are the details of a scintillating e-mail between ACORN operatives.  While ACORN and SEIU big-wigs who are dreaming all this up may pass it off as just wishful thinking; the facts show something different.

Right now, ACORN files labor organization financial reports for SEIU 880 and SEIU 100 with the U.S. Department of Labor.  Other exposed relationships like the New York Teachers’ Union bosses – ACORN coordinated organizing effort illustrate an ACORN and Big Labor coordination, and a relationship that may have already crossed the line.

But wait, there is more!

On top of this, ACORN plans to use low-wage earners to shakedown employers to build its and Big Labor’s monthly income.  The ACORN plan is to gather these workers together like pawns in a chess game and then use them to create leverage against employers.  There is no plan to fix existing “problems;” instead, ACORN is simply going to use the leverage to force employers to begin deducting forced union dues from these workers.

The exposure of this ACORN forced unionization plan reveals the importance of the U.S. Senate vote on President Obama’s Solicitor of Labor nominee Patricia Smith, because she actually integrated ACORN-type organizations and labor unions into the State of New York wage and hour enforcement division.  Her New York Wage Watch Program has come under fire because it essentially “deputized” Big Labor officials and allowed them to use the power of the State to intimidate employers for union organizational purposes, similar to the ACORN e-mail plans.

Certainly, employers who fail to comply with the law need to be brought into compliance.  However, the antiquated multilayered jurisdictionally variant labor laws can create violators out of the most upright employer.  Especially, when courts can decide decades old employment practices are invalid and thus change employment rules overnight.  ACORN’s scheme would force employers to be on the defensive rather than working for solutions that will best help its past and current employees.  ACORN’s legal agitation approach is designed to create fear and anxiety between the employer and the employee.

ACORN is Big Labor

ACORN plans contained in the exposed e-mails provide enough information to satisfy this federal definition of Labor Organizations:

Labor Organizations are defined as “any organization of any kind so engaged in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours, or other terms or conditions of employment.”

When can we expect Labor Secretary Solis and/or the U.S. Labor Department Inspector General to begin investigating ACORN’s blatant disregard for the 1959 the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act?

More revelations of ACORN-SEIU special relationships?

In the ACORN e-mails, National Field Director for the ACORN Community Labor Organizing Center (ACLOC) Ross Fitzgerald specifically mentioned SEIU in the shared dues scheme.  Is that because ACORN already has a shared dues structure with SEIU on other projects?

“Houston, Dallas – SEIU Local 1 has asked if we can specifically target janitorial contractors for litigation in the Dallas and Houston markets. This will be a contract that can hopefully lead to a recognition, affiliation and shared dues arrangement.”

The ACORN e-mails disclosing this odd relationship may not end with the SEIU labor union, but likely extends into other labor unions and government funded legal service operations as well:

Boston – GBLS [Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc.] wants to do wage and hour to ID informal truckers with the Teamsters. Same partnership as created the Childcare association. Mimi has great relationships with labor there.”

It appears that ACORN already has found some “dirty money hungry lawyers” to force “employers to open up negotiations” in Boston.  The Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc. is a government funded organization.  Also, it appears that ACORN already has a Teamster partnership model that it can use.  It might be worthwhile to find out more about this “partnership” that created the “Childcare association.”

These e-mails are revealing, and should stimulate intense discussions regarding ACORN’s many different angles used to create its programs and more importantly revenue stream. With its organizational structure labyrinth and “partnerships,” will the real ACORN ever be fully exposed?  Certainly not if politicians who believe they owe their political fortunes to ACORN and Big Labor are in charge of any investigations.  But, this is no reason to stop trying.

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