Help Us Cover Nurses & Steelworkers Striking in West Virginia

Workers striking at Special Metals in Huntington, West Virginia (Otis Grotewohl/ Twitter)

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For four weeks, nearly 500 steelworkers in Huntington, West Virginia have been on strike at Special Metals. Now, 1,000 hospital workers are planning to strike at Cabell Huntington Hospital this week. 

(Read more about their strikes in Huntington here)

With only 50,000 people living in Huntington, Virginia, having nearly 1,500 workers out on strike is sure to have a huge impact. 

This could be a landmark strike movement in this small West Virginia town that could mobilize more support nationwide for the growing strike movement. We need your support to cover it.

Donate today so we can travel to cover these strikes in West Virginia. 

More than a year and a half ago, Payday was the first outlet to identify a massive strike wave, beginning when we launched our Payday Report Strike Tracker in March of 2020. 

Since then, we have recorded more than 1,600 strikes and walkouts. 

And while commentators suddenly started dubbing October #Striketober because of strikes at John Deere, Kellogg, and the retail workers walking off every day without the assistance of unions, we at Payday have been reporting on this unprecedented wave of strikes for a year and a half.

Many commentators and journalists failed to pick up on the strike wave because the walkouts were fundamentally different from walkouts in the past. Instead of calling upon unions and going on traditional strikes, many non-union workers organized on social media and simply walked out. 

(See our July 2020 longform piece “How Black & Brown Workers Are Redefining Strikes in the Digital COVID Age,” which outlined how the mainstream media and even left-wing outlets were failing to pick up on the strike wave.)

Our work covering these walkouts has had an enormous impact, with NPR to The Economist to The Washington Post citing our reporting. 

Boots Riley, who directed the hit film “Sorry to Bother You,” also extensively praised our work in noting the strike wave when few people did. 

“You could count on one hand the number of outlets, whether they’re mainstream or radical, that pushed this fact,” Riley said of our work tracking more than 1,600 strikes since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Just this month, Esquire called our work tracking the strike wave “invaluable,” and PBS American Portraits, Vice, and Columbia Journalism Review have all profiled our trailblazing work tracking the strike wave. 

As a small, crowdfunded publication, we have had a major impact, and now we want to do even more in covering these strikes. 

We’re asking for donations to create a travel fund to get on the road and cover these crucial struggles, all while continuing to track strikes. 

Donate to help us pay for airfare, hotels, gas, rental cars, and so much so that we can cover this strike wave. 

If you are able, please support our work by joining our 629 recurring donors today, or consider donating one time 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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