“Hot Shop, Union Summer” Travel Fund

Alabama Mercedes UAW activists rally in Tuscaloosa (UAW)
$1,035 / $20,000

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After the landslide victory at Volkswagen, the door is wide open to union organizing across the United States. It will be difficult, but there is a lot happening and we, as a labor publication, need to cover it.

In early June, 29,000 teachers in Fairfax County, Virginia are going to vote in the largest union election in the South. And then, we are expecting a lot more union drives across the country. 

In union terminology, a “hot shop” is when smaller shops go pro-union suddenly. We are certainly going to see a “hot shop” union summer across this country. 

(Be sure to check out interview with UAW Alabama leader Kurt Garner on 25 years of organizing at Mercedes in Alabama)

Workers across the country are inspired like never before after those big wins down South and there are likely to be more this summer. 

Payday wants to be out there covering this story. It’s important that workers see what’s happening so that workers continue to be inspired. 

We want to build up a travel fund so big that we can go anywhere at any time to cover what’s happening. We are hoping to raise $20,000 this summer to build a permanent travel reserve fund. 

Payday Report has always been ahead of the curve and we think that we are gonna see a “Hot Shop Union Summer” like none other this year. 

The Washington Post credited Payday’s Strike Tracker as being the first to systematically track the strike wave from its beginning in March of 2022. The New York Times described us as a labor publication with “new energy” and our work with CNN was even nominated for an Emmy. 

(Be sure to check out our interview with a formerly anti-union worker that got a combined 500,000 views on YouTube and Twitter) 

We may be a small labor publication based in Pittsburgh, but we have had a big impact on the national conversation. 

By raising $20,000 this summer, we will be able to build a solid travel fund that allows us to cover the uprisings happening across the country. 

For years, we have relied on crowdfunding, but now we are starting to receive grant money. We are now building a Reader Coop Advisory Board to help us attract new streams of revenue and support for the publication. 

However, our ability to attract grant money is heavily based on our ability to crowdfund. The more financially sustainable that we can demonstrate that we are, the more likely larger foundations will invest. 

So, we are going to push to raise $20,000 this summer to build up a reserve fund to cover the big union organizing outbreak starting this summer. 

Donate to Help Us Cover “Hot Shop, Union Summer”.

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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]