About Us

We are small crowdfunded labor publication based in Pittsburgh, PA with a growing impact on the national conversation about workers.

Our COVID Strike Wave Tracking map and coverage has won wide praise from NPR’s On the Media, The Economist, Vice, and was labeled “invaluable” by Charles Pierce of Esquire

The New York Times has even cited our work four times in just the past year. 

Help us keep growing, become one of our over 500 sustaining donors today.

Mike Elk (right) pictured with  Greensboro City Workers Union UE Local 150 President Charles French in Greensboro, North Carolina 

Mike Elk, Senior Labor Reporter & Founder

A protégé of the late William Greider, Mike Elk is a yinzer labor reporter who covered the drug war in Brasil, spent years covering union organizing in the South for the Guardian, and marched 110 miles with striking teachers across the state of Oklahoma.

A native of Pittsburgh, he now lives in his hometown, where he founded and runs the crowd-funded publication Payday Report. Elk founded the publication while living in Chattanooga in 2016 and after being fired as a shop steward in the union drive at Politico during the early days of the digital media unionization movement.

He used his $70,000 NLRB settlement, and money from his work as a print reporter, to found Payday Report. He’s also worked as an advisor on W. Kamau Bell’s Emmy-award winning “United Shades of America” and on the Eva Longoria-produced award-winning documentary “Food Chains.”

The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he attended Woodland Hills High while it was still under federal desegregation orders in the early in 2000s.

He can be reached at melk@paydayreport.com or on Twitter @MikeElk.

Kat Callahan, Associate Editor

Kat Callahan is a journalist, civics teacher, and union organizer, with her previous reporting being in the areas of political, LGBTQ, Japanese, and automotive news. She has worked for Jezebel, Jalopnik, and contributed to AnimeNow and got her start as a student journalist at the Daily Texan. 

She has contributed to academic textbooks. Her academic interests include historical Japanese radical ultranationalism and internationalization/supranationalism. Callahan has been active in unions both in the U.S. and Japan.

In addition to freelance journalism and editing, she currently works and writes for the United Nations based in Tokyo.

Clarissa A. León, Associate Editor

Clarissa A. León is a researcher and editor whose experience includes working for hard-hitting investigative journalists like the late Village Voice reporter, Wayne Barrett, as well as Tracie McMillan, the New York Times bestselling author of The American Way of Eating. Her work has been published in The Nation, Newsweek & The Daily Beast, and AlterNet among several others.

She has a Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh. There she completed a collection of essays on identity, attachment, and belonging. Find her on Twitter @ClarissaLeon or her website www.clarissaleon.com.