Esquire Labels Payday as “Invaluable” for COVID Strike Coverage

Sanitation workers in Pittsburgh went on a wildcat strike over unsafe conditions during COVID-19 outbreak (Liz Kilmer/WPXI)


Payday’s Strike Tracker Map, now up over 160 strikes, continues to have a significant effect on the conversation nationwide. 

In an Esquire article entitled “Forget the Haircut Protesters. There’s a Real Labor Movement Blossoming in America”, Chares Pierce wrote: 

It is more than passing ridiculous that the cable news people insist on covering the smattering of angry (if armed) shut-ins who are popping up outside of various state capitols as though this were an actual movement instead of the latest kabuki outrage performance art from America’s conservative ratfcking industrial complex. The attention becomes ever more absurd when you realize that an actual national movement is being completely ignored.

Thanks to the invaluable Payday Report, we learn that, over the past several months, more than 140 wildcat strikes have occurred, most of which involved employees who feel that their health and safety is being endangered, and that their employers have not taken sufficient steps to protect them in the workplace. The strikes cover almost every high-risk category, from a McDonald’s in Florida to a Boeing factory in Washington state. Fifty workers walked off the job at the Smithfield Foods plant in Crete, Nebraska, and library workers engaged in a “sick-out” in New Orleans, as did sanitation workers in Shreveport and bus drivers in Richmond, Virginia. This is what used to be called “labor agitation” in the last Gilded Age. It used to be something every medium covered.

Check out the full article in Esquire here. 

For a small crowd-funded publication, we continue to have a big impact on the debate. Thanks to everyone who sent in tips. Keep emailing them to [email protected].

While the rest of the media is ignoring the story, we are getting cited in major outlets like the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, the Mississippi Clarion-LedgerVicethe Louisville Courier-Journal., and FAIR’s Counterspin. 

Our work, funded by regular workers, is forcing a conversation in the mainstream media on what deserves coverage during the pandemic. 

As Charles Pierce says, “This is the ultimate Both Sides story. Joe Beergutz wants his burger and fries, so the people at the meatpacking plant have to die. Cover both sides, then.”

Donate so We Can Keep Covering Labor’s Fightback against COVID-19. 

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]

Be the first to comment on "Esquire Labels Payday as “Invaluable” for COVID Strike Coverage"

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.