325 Chicago Sysco Workers Strike – 40 Chicago Bartenders Walkout – Toledo Coffee Shop Workers Walkout – RIP Michael Munk

Sysco warehouse workers strike in Chicago (Brian Rich/Chicago Sun-Times)


Greetings from the Burgh, where Payday’s getting back into the swing of things after taking several weeks off to rest and recover from health issues. 

Thanks again to all those who donated to our vacation fund. 

325 Sysco Workers Walkout in Chicago 

In Chicago, 125 warehouse workers and 200 truck drivers at a Sysco Food warehouse in the northern suburb of Des Plaines, went on strike Monday to protest unfair treatment by management. 

The strike is expected to affect hundreds of restaurants, as well as numerous schools and hospitals, that purchase Sysco foods. 

“These warehouse workers have been working without a contract, day-in and day-out, keeping American schools, restaurants, hospitals and more stocked with food and supplies,” Jake Berent of Teamsters Joint Council No. 25  told Eater Chicago. “These workers were pushed too far by the employer, and enough was enough. The disrespect Sysco is showing towards these workers, whom its CEO referred to as ‘heroes’ just one year ago, is simply disgusting.”

For more, check out Eater Chicago. 

40 Chicago Bartenders Walk Out of Festival Over Unsafe Conditions 

Last weekend, over 40 bartenders walked out of the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival after a lack of security led to drunken festival attendees rushing their understaffed booths and becoming violent. 

“I’ve never been in a situation in my entire life where there was so much weight on me,” Ellie Pettit, a 22-year-old bartender told Block Club Chicago. “I genuinely thought at one point that I wasn’t going to make it out of that festival alive.”

For more, check out Block Club Chicago. 

Toledo Coffee Shop Workers Walk Out 

Coffee shop workers at Biggby Coffee in Toledo, Ohio walked out last Friday to protest poor treatment by management. 

 “Due to higher management the staff at this location has walked out because we were being treated poorly, overworked and underpaid,” the coffee shop employees wrote on a sign posted on the door. “We want to thank each and every one of our customers for making every day great and always treating us with love and kindness.”

For more, check out the Toledo Blade. 

$1,040 Raised in 24 Hours to Keep Strike Tracker Going 

Folks, I just want to thank our readers for really having Payday’s back. 

Recently, a $10,000 grant to maintain our Strike Tracker expired and we put out a call out to replace the funds. 

In less than 24 hours, we already raised $1,040 from our readers to keep it going. 

Thank you to everyone who donated.

We want to keep the Strike Tracker going, so keep on donating. 

And, please, sign up as one of our 618 recurring donors today to keep Payday strong. 

Payday Mourns the Passing of Portland Historian and Activist Michael Munk 

It is with a heavy heart that Payday writes of the passing of 87-year-old historian and activist Michael Munk. For years, I have been on Munk’s mailing list and collaborated with him frequently. Many of his insights and articles have found their way into Payday. 

An immigrant from Czechoslovakia, Munk documented the radical labor traditions of the Pacific Northwest. A principled person, Munk even called out his own father, a professor at Reed College, for his role in red-baiting one of his favorite Reed college professors Stanley Moore. The Oregonian has the story: 

“He woke me up,” Munk said years later. “I thought, ‘My God, people are arguing about something important.’”

Caught up in the nationwide “Red Scare” now commonly known as McCarthyism, Reed College fired Moore in 1954 for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

A key player in Moore’s removal from his tenured position: Frank Munk, who would later say he viewed communism at that time “as the most immediate evil.”

Despite his father’s role in the dismissal, Mike believed Moore had been treated unfairly. He spent years researching and writing about the incident.

“It was the clearest test of academic freedom in the nation,” he told The Oregonian in 1996

Please go to The Oregonian to read the full obituary of this incredible man

May Michael Munk’s memory always be a blessing in the fight for justice and equality. 

News Happening Elsewhere 

That’s all for today. Hear about a strike or walkout or just want to share some comments? Drop us a line at [email protected]

If you can, donate today to help us cover the growing “Retail Worker Rebellion.” 

Or, sign up as one of our 618 recurring donors today. 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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