Articles by Mike Elk

Kale Workers in N.C. Show How Immigrants Can Win in the Trump Era

Despite the intimidation felt by many immigrants, FLOC activists say that community labor organizations like FLOC are going to become even more vital in the Trump era.

“There are a lot of abuses against Latinos and farmworkers,” says Floricel Morales-Cruz, one of the kale workers. “I want people to know that they shouldn’t let growers take advantage of them and that we need to be organized.”






UNC to Stop Public Interest Law Work – Tenn Signs Outsourcing Deal – Hidden History of SNCC’s Research Dept.

Last week, the State of Tennessee signed a five-year, $330 million deal that will lead to one of the largest outsourcing efforts of public jobs in state history. While the state promised that the move wouldn’t affect current employees, labor activists have said a reading of the fine print makes it clear that the state will try to get rid of as many employees as possible.


The Rise of Minority Unionism in the South

“Having a union doesn’t mean you have to have a majority of workers or a union contract,” said veteran union organizer Saladin Muhammad, co-founder of the Southern Workers Assembly. “A union exists whenever workers come together to form an organization to build power.”


Pro-Union Ex-Offender Wins Chattanooga City Council Seat – Jackson Mayors Race Heats Up – Angola Prison Workers Win Big

“I had time to think about my life. Like what am I doing? What am I not doing? How can I make things right. I knew I did not want to come outside of prison being the same person I was going inside prison,” Coonrod told WRCB. “I began to knock on every door. Reach out to elected officials saying hey I need some help. I need you to help me help my community.”



In Louisville, Perez & Bernie Call On Southern Democrats to Embrace Organized Labor

In an exclusive interview with Payday, Perez says that he wants to see Democratic politicians get more involved in building community support for labor struggles in the South, like the recent union drives at Boeing in South Carolina and Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn., where Republican politicians vigorously fought against unionization. If Perez is able to get Southern Democrats to embrace the labor movement, it would be a significant reversal of practices by the Democratic Party.


Southern Nonprofits Get 1/10th of National Average Funding – OSHA Breaks Its Silence – NoLa Custodians Sue City Hall

Regions like Alabama’s Black Belt and the Mississippi Delta receive approximately 1/10, per capita, of the national average of funding from foundations. Between 2010 to 2014, foundations donated, on average, $41 dollars towards philanthropic causes in the regions, while nationally, foundations donated $451 per person, according to the NCRP’s research.


EMAILS: TN State Senator Got Lesbian NPR Reporter Fired – DC Cops Raid Activist’s Home – WV to Cut Benefits for Strikers

The emails show that Republican State Senator Todd Gardenhire met with top UTC officials on March 20 and urged the firing of Helbert. Following the meeting, UTC Chancellor Steve Angle argued that Helbert should be fired.

“The potential repercussions for the state representative and UTC are HUGE,” wrote Angle in an email obtained by the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. “We could easily lose all funding we are providing to WUTC.”