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Seattle ACORN Using Scabs to Break Strike - March 23, 2001

On February 26th, staff workers at Washington ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) organized into a union with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and asked the employer, Doug Bloch, for union recognition. The employer refused to bargain with the union, even though nearly 100 percent of the workers had joined the union, and had presented demands, which included a 40 hour week, paychecks on time and in full, a sexual harassment policy, safety on the job, and lunch breaks. Most of these demands are asking for the employer to comply with Federal and State labor law. Workers went on strike, and have been out for nearly 1 month. Wade Rathke, Chief Organizer (and effectively CEO of ACORN) has fought unionization tooth and nail since day one He had lied, stating that ACORN is proceeding in a legal manner. He is lying because:

1) Workers in Philadelphia, Dallas, and Seattle have files Unfair Labor Practices with the National Labor Relations Board

2) Workers have bee refused their jobs, after offering an unconditional return to work

3) As of today ACORN management has replaced all of the striking workers in the Washington office with Scabs from the Portland ACORN Office.

4) Wade Rathke has lied and said that workers have called off the strike.

Workers filed for a union election with the Labor Board, and ACORN management is doing everything possible to ensure that this election never takes place, though frivolous delaying tactics and packing the bargaining unit with scabs.

We charge that there is no difference between Kaiser Aluminum, Oregon Steel, The Seattle Times, and ACORN National in how they deal with their own workers. This is flat out union busting. ACORN management shows their true colors as strikebreakers, lawbreakers, and short on the truth; they tell their donors that they support workers' rights, and use the money to destroy the union!

We charge that ACORN management is in violation of Federal labor standards, specifically ignoring overtime laws, sex discrimination, and the Wagner Act (the right to organize a union).

We charge that ACORN is in violation of Washington State labor and industries standards.

We charge that ACORN management is in violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which specifically states the human right to join in unions and bargain collectively.

We charge that Wade Rathke, ACORN CEO, has used the name of ACORN as a cover for his own quest for personal and political power.

We charge that ACORN is devoid of any credibility, so long as their attacks on human rights and the union continues, and that their leadership constitutes a cult that is disconnected from the needs of their own workers.