Help Payday Travel to Cover Historic Nissan Union Election in Mississippi

Mike Elk was the only national reporter to attend the 5,000 person Historic "March on Mississippi" against Nissan.

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This week, the NLRB announced that UAW would conduct a historic election at Nissan in Canton, Mississippi from August 3rd to 4th.

Payday is hoping to be there, but we can’t do it without your support as readers so donate today.

“When we organize the South, we free the country,” veteran Nation labor correspondent John Nichols said at a recent fundraiser for Payday Report held following the People’s Summit.

The event featured speakers including People’s House Project Executive Director Krystal Ball, Wisconsin ironworker Randy Bryce (a.k.a “Iron Stache”) challenging Paul Ryan in Wisconsin First Congressional District,  Young Turks correspondent Nomiki Konst, International Business Times reporter David Sirota, and North Carolina Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150 activists Bonita Johnson, and Darrion Smith.

The party at Motor Row Brewing was so much fun that even actress Frances Fisher, telephone worker Norwood Orrick from IBEW Local 824 in Tampa, New York State Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino (thanks for the $20), and even Mike Elk’s very own father Gene Elk, Director of Organization at United Electrical Workers (UE), showed up.

“Brothers and sisters, it begins in the South, and you gotta have information about what’s going on,” Nichols told the crowd. “That’s why the work that Mike Elk is doing is the central work—not merely of telling us about the trade union movement—it is the central work of renewing democracy in America.”

Earlier this month, the UAW announced that it was filing for a historic union election at Nissan’s 6,000-person factory in Canton, Mississippi. If successful, the vote would top off a historic 14-year long campaign to unionize the plant and would be a major breakthrough for efforts to organize the South (see Payday’s story on the dynamics of the election). 

In March, Payday was the only national print outlet to send a correspondent down to Canton to cover the 5,000-person historic “March on Mississippi” against Nissan. (While there, Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk even winded up filing a dispatch for the Guardian on the march.) 

Now, we want to go back to cover the historic union election at Nissan in a few weeks, but we need you to donate to Payday so we can travel to Mississippi. 

So take 15 minutes and watch this video of some of our progressive movement leaders talking about why they support Payday Report then click here to donate. 

Randy Bryce talks about the social media movement that helped amplify the Wisconsin uprising. Bonita Jackson talks about how North Carolina Public Service Workers are able to win results on the job despite lacking collective bargaining rights as public employees.

Finally, People’s House Project Executive Director Krystal Ball, while impressively holding a three-month-old daughter, Ida Rose, in her hand, relayed her experience in having the president of MSNBC ask her to soften her coverage of Hillary Clinton.

“You are always afraid that you are going to be biting the hand that feeds you, and there is always going to be a limit on how far you could go,” said Ball on the contradiction of working in progressive corporate media.

“We have to have people that are doing independent journalism that have their eye on the ball, that are focusing on those struggles that are happening in regions throughout the country and particularly in the South, where there is so much bubbling up right now,” said the Virginia native Ball.

“Supporting Payday Report is not something that is nice to do,” said Ball. “It is the sort of activity that if you care about this country if you care about the people in this country, even the ones that don’t always vote in our direction, it is the work that is absolutely essential to this democracy.”

“This is how we undo the sins of the past and free us to move to the higher ground of the future,” said Nichols. “Brothers and sisters, you are not giving [money] to Mike Elk, you aren’t even giving it to Payday Report, you are giving to a faith in the future.”

So, please donate to our Summer Fundraising Drive so we can afford to travel to Canton, Mississippi to cover the historic UAW vote at Nissan. 

Help Us Reach Our Summer Fundraising Goal of $10,000. So far, 142 people have donated $6,635. Join them.

$6,635 / $10,000

Donate Here!

So take 15 minutes and watch this video of some of our progressive movement leaders talking about why they support Payday Report then click here to donate. 


Also, check out our 7-minute summer fundraising video to get a theme of what Payday has done over the past year and what we intend to do.



Finally, check out this funny video about where we will spend the money at an ethical employer like Costco, of course.



About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered everything from Lula & the Brazilian labor movement to major league baseball. He spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian and was labeled by the New York Times as an "abrasive gadfly" for exposing within the labor movement. Raised in a UE union family in Pittsburgh, Elk was illegally for union organizing at Politico in 2015 and used his NLRB settlement to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and is fluent in both Pittsburghese and Portuguese, which he learned when attending journalism school at PUC-Rio de Janerio. Email: [email protected]

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