May 06, 2005

Low Wages, Union-Busting, Unsafe Conditions (tip to Club For Growth)

Wal-Mart pays its employees an average of $18,000 a year, demands more than 54 hours of work a week, often demands weekend work and sometimes makes employees work in difficult and even knowingly unsafe conditions. When they organize to try and reform these practices, the instigators are fired and others are threatened with termination.

Oh wait, sorry. That's not Wal-Mart; that's ACORN, the activist group that's trying to enact living wage statutes across the country. And apparently, they're led by raging hypocrites.

That's right, the group of people who make a living off of criticizing employers like Wal-Mart for not paying people enough is paying very thin wages to its own people - so thin, in fact, that out of the 39 living-wage ordinances ACORN takes credit for passing its wages would be illegal in 38 of them.

To try to exempt itself from CA state minimum wage laws, ACORN had this to say:

    California's minimum-wage laws…affect the quality and quantity of staff which Plaintiff can retain….the more that ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker…the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire.
Gee, you think? Now why can't they apply the same argument to businesses, who actually need to turn a profit?

Radley Balko has an essay at TCS (linked above) which I'm drawing on heavily that goes into it all. I won't go too much further except for own more little twist of the blade. ACORN's "People's Platform" has these demands placed upon businesses:

    - The right to a job which does not endanger health or safety.
    - The right to a job which does not require overtime work as a condition of employment.
    - The right to a fair grievance procedure.
    - Most fundamentally, the right to organize, which is to be promoted by:
    --- Extending the National Labor Relations Act coverage to all workers.
    --- Streamlining the union election and certification process.
    --- Restricting the use of anti-strike injunction by courts.
    - Providing stiff penalties -- back wages times five -- for employers who fire or demote workers for their organizing activities.
Could not have been more ironic had I written it myself, save the national director of the group having the last name "Pinkerton."

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