Benjamin Dixon & Melk Talk Erasure of Black Workers in Striketober Coverage

Yesterday, Ben Dixon, host of the Benjamin Dixon show, sat down with me for a 15-minute long conversation about the giant strike wave hitting America that’s been recently labeled as #Striketober by many commentators. 

We discuss why it took the mainstream media, and even some of the progressive outlets, so long to recognize the strike wave when Payday Report had documented a massive strike wave more than a year ago. (Since March of 2020, Payday’s Strike Tracker has tracked more than 1,600 walkouts.)

We also discuss how the mainstream media didn’t pick up on the wave until 10,000 — largely white — John Deere workers went on strike in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas earlier this month. Whereas, more than 900,000 retail workers, many of whom were Black, quit their jobs in August. 

For almost a year, retail workers, many without the assistance of unions, have been going on mass walkouts nearly every day, but their efforts haven’t been getting as much attention in the media as the more traditional strikes organized by unions. Moreover, the collective action of Black workers is often overlooked to focus on the stereotypical image of white workers in the Rust Belt walking picket lines in more traditional ways. 

Hope everyone checks out the interview here.

Also, check out Payday’s long form “How Black & Brown Workers Are Redefining Strikes in the Digital COVID Age”

Donate to Help Payday Continue Our Effort to Track Strikes. 

And the best way to support us is to sign up as one of our 625 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 over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. 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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