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x-Philly ACORN Boss Supports Organizing Drive

To whom it may concern:

We are the organizers and the staff representatives of the Health Professional and Allied Employees AFT/AFL-CIO, the largest registered nurses' union in New Jersey. We work with more than 8500 members of our union and thousands of unorganized health care workers in New Jersey who are striving to improve their working conditions and the care that their patients receive.

We are also members of our own staff union. We belong to the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Staff Union (HPAESU). We joined the labor movement because we believed that workers should have a voice in their working conditions and be treated with fairness and respect on the job. We believe that these principles should apply to union staff just as they apply to our members and those we organize. We are workers too. Through our staff union we have negotiated excellent wages, benefits and working conditions. We have improved staff retention and we are able to attract the best of our field because of the conditions we achieved in our staff union contract.

We feel that it is completely consistent with our beliefs as people who work for social and economic justice to be members of a staff union. In fact, we feel that it would be hypocritical of us not to be union members, when we preach the value of empowerment through organization to fellow workers.

We are deeply disturbed by reports that we have heard that ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has engaged in union busting, including firing workers for union activity. We encourage ACORN management to live up to its own principles by recognizing the staff's chosen bargaining representative, negotiating a fair contract, and immediately reinstating all fired workers with back pay.

In solidarity,

April Smith, Lead Organizer
Lisa Riccardelli, Lead Organizer
Nick Alpers, Organizer
Terri Falbo, Organizer
Terry Leon, Staff Representative
Stephen Leshinski, Organizer (and former Philadelphia ACORN Director)
Jill S. Moscowitz, Staff Representative
Fred DeLuca, RN, Staff Representative
Carlton Levine, Staff Representative
Lois A. Cuccinello, Staff Representative
Jeanne Ottersen, Public Policy Advocate
Jeffrey David Ball, Staff Representative
Yonna Carroll, Staff Representative
Karen Szczepanski, Staff Representative