Celebrate the 7th Anniversary of the Founding of Payday Report

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People often wonder how I came up with the name Payday Report. It happened on August 12th, 2015 when I was illegally fired from Politico for union organizing.

On that day, when I told my union rep Bruce Jett, a Black veteran of the 1991 New York Daily News told me “Today is Payday!”. We knew that my firing was illegal and I was about to get paid quite handsomely for the pain that I was undergoing.

Later that evening, a bunch of us celebrated the firing, and I resolved to use the money that I would win to start a small little labor publication. Eventually, I decided to name it “Payday Report” to celebrate what happened that day

(You can read a full account of the early days of the digital media unionization movement and what occurred at POLITICO here)

Many people thought we would never be able to organize Politico, but I ALWAYS believed that we would come back and win and now we have a union there. It took 6 years and several attempts to eventually organize Politico, but we did it.  

For many years, I have celebrated my illegal firing by taking a few days off to reflect on it as a milestone in my life. This year, it feels soooooo special knowing that we won after a long hard fight that took 6 years. Few things have given me more confidence in our ability to win than watching that union drive. 

The win gives me more confidence that Payday will be the publication that I dreamed it will be that day when I was fired at Politico more 7 years ago. Through solidarity and crowdfunding, we can change labor journalism. It will be tough, but so was the union drive at Politico.

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Thanks again for all the support & suggestions. 

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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