American Experiment employees vote to unionize

Employees at Center of the American Experiment, a conservative think tank in Golden Valley, Minnesota, have unanimously voted to unionize for better wages, health insurance, and for greater influence in the organization’s day-to-day operations. American Experiment employees will belong to the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union NPEU Local 44. 

The vote makes American Experiment the first Minnesota public policy organization to unionize, following a trend started by the Center for American Progress, Friends of the Earth, and the Brookings Institution, among several others. 

“While non-profits like Fresh Energy and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy pretend to care about workers’ rights, none of them have taken the bold step to unionize like Center of the American Experiment,” said policy fellow Issac Orr. “How can we believe their lip service to a just transition filled with family-supporting union jobs if these organizations aren’t unionized themselves? Sounds like an empty promise to me.”  

Management has not indicated whether the unionization will affect Chick-Fil-A Wednesday lunches, currently provided free of charge to employees, or other fringe benefits. 

“Our staff has been so much more effective at producing quality educational content than any other public policy organization in the state over the past few years that it’s not surprising they decided to unionize,” said American Experiment President John Hinderaker. “In hindsight, I should have seen it coming.” 

“I can’t wait to be a member and finally have real workplace democracy,” said Catrin Wigfall, a policy fellow specializing in education and labor policy. “I look forward to blatantly advocating for my own self-interest while pretending it is for the greater good!” 

“Unions are bad, unless you’re in one,” added economist John Phelan. “Then they’re great! Think tank workers of the world, unite!” 

Note: This press release is dated April 1, 2023.


Center of the American Experiment is “Minnesota’s Think Tank.” For more than 30 years, the Center has been the most impactful and effective public policy organization in Minnesota, leading the way in creating and advocating policies that make Minnesota a freer, more prosperous and better-governed state.