ACORN, (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) a national organization of low- and moderate-income persons, has been around since the early 1970s. The organization claims about 175,000 member families in 80 cities and advocates left-wing populist approaches to a variety of issues including public housing, jobs, wages, taxes, and voter registration.
ACORN has been calling for "living wages," which would raise wages for low-skilled workers and boost union membership.
While advocating living wages, though, ACORN has opposed paying even minimum wages to its own workers.
This was made apparent back in 1995, when ACORN sued the state of California to be exempted from paying its own workers the minimum wage. According to the December 21, 1995 ruling of the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District:
"ACORN contends that California's minimum wage laws ... are unconstitutional as applied to ACORN because they restrict ACORN's ability to engage in political advocacy. According to ACORN, this adverse impact will be manifested in two ways: first, ACORN will be forced to hire fewer workers; second, its workers, if paid the minimum wage, will be less empathetic with ACORN's low and moderate income constituency and will therefore be less effective advocates.
"Leaving aside the latter argument's absurdity (minimum wage workers are ipso facto low-income workers) as well as irony (an advocate for the poor seeking to justify starvation wages), we find ACORN to be laboring under a fundamental misconception of the constitutional law."
A 2003 study of ACORN by the Employment Policies Institute noted, "ACORN pays a wage of $5.67 per hour, less than half the level demanded by many proposed 'living wage' ordinances that ACORN supports."
Despite ACORN's demands that all workers be allowed to organize, ACORN has tried to prevent its own workers from joining unions. In March 2003, after firing workers who had tried to organize, ACORN lost its final appeal of a National Labor Relations Board ruling, which found ACORN had violated the rights of its employees to unionize.
Hat tip: John Ray
ACORN is the group that has submitted thousands of fraudulent voter registrations in Missouri and Illinois even though Democrats (Conyers, Gore et al) whine about "Republican voter fraud".