The Covid-19 pandemic has posed many serious and dangerous challenges for workers everywhere — not just for workers on the job, but for workers trying to exercise their right to organize. But there have also been unexpected bright spots on this front over the past year, including a boom in union drives at nonprofits around the United States. One of those nonprofits is the American Civil Liberties Union, where staff workers recently voted to unionize with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). In this episode, we talk with two representatives from ACLU Staff United, Gillian Ganesan and Alex Ortiz, and NPEU President Kayla Blado about the unionization effort at the ACLU and the growing nonprofit labor movement.
Additional links/info below…
- Gillian’s Twitter page
- Alex’s Twitter page
- Kayla’s Twitter page
- ACLU Staff United website and Twitter page
- NPEU website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- NPEU, “PRESS RELEASE: ACLU Staff Ask Leadership to Voluntarily Recognize Staff Union”
- Eli Rosenberg, The Washington Post, “ACLU Workers Are Forming a Union, The Latest in a Wave of Nonprofit Staffs to Organize”
- Hamilton Nolan, In These Times, “A Quiet Frenzy of Union Organizing Has Gripped the Nonprofit World”
- Eli Rosenberg, The Washington Post, “Workers Are Forming Unions at Nonprofits and Think Tanks. Their Bosses Aren’t Always Happy”
- Kayla Blado, In These Times, “The Answer To Burnout At Work Isn’t “Self-Care” — It’s Unionizing”
- Hamilton Nolan, In These Times, “The Animal Legal Defense Fund Is Busting Its Union With a Smile”
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
- Jules Taylor, “Working People theme song”
- Astrometrics, “I Have Heard of a Place”
In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?
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Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InTheseTimes.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.