This episode of the Folk Labor Desk is a special episode made while JP laid over at his away-from-home terminal in Nashville, TN. It features poetry about contemporary life on the railroad from a fellow locomotive engineer, Cary Depew, as well as the classic union song “Which Side Are You On?” written by Florence Reece. It also includes an original song, “You Ain’t Gonna Ride This Train,” to frame a commentary about the bust economy affecting workers and communities in the Appalachian coal-producing regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
About the Author
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered Lula & the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of retired United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he was once described as an "abrasive gadfly" by the New York Times for his role in exposing sexual misconduct in the labor movement. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]
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