If you have ever been involved in any kind of campaign, social movement, labor group or volunteer project, you’ve interacted with the world of nonprofit organizations—the sector of the economy that purports to operate in service of a public-interest mission. The term nonprofit evokes a sense of charity and altruism. But at the end of the day, the nonprofit is also a workplace—one that often operates just like any profit-driven corporate enterprise, except maybe with lower pay and more thankless labor. We speak with Kayla Blado, president of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU), and Adam Simpson, a member of the newly formed union of the workers at the Democracy Collaborative, about why workers at nonprofits should all join unions and why they often don’t.
While the GM workers consider a tentative agreement, we check in with the Chicago teachers on strike. And we explore new efforts to organize workers in California’s home childcare and marijuana industries, and a budding union at a green power company. With recommended reading on bargaining for the common good in Chicago, and Big Oil’s plunder of native lands.