Live from Yellowstone: How Rent Doubled in National Park Areas with “Work from Home”

Folks,

While out reporting on union busting in Yellowstone,  I went on the RJ Eskow of the Zero Hour podcast to talk about my travels reporting on labor conditions in America’s most treasured National parks. 

We talked about how rapid pandemic-driven gentrification as wealthy coastal types have moved to the area near national parks; making life harder for low-wage service workers. 

As a result of the pandemic, scores of Americans are working remotely and have chosen to move away from higher-costing big cities to scenic areas, such as those found near many national parks in the West. 

Already some towns in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana — many near ski resorts, national parks, and fishing spots — have seen a near doubling of rent in the last two years. In Montana, rent is rising faster than in any other state in the country during the pandemic. 

With the rent increases, many retail workers have been forced out of housing near these national parks, leading to a widespread service sector shortage in tourist areas throughout Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. 

Meanwhile, the workforce of our national parks are being increasingly privatized by groups like Aramark, Xanterra, and Delaware North. With the increasing privatization of the National Parks, good-paying federal jobs with union rights have been turned over to private contractors, who have driven down wages and busted unions.

Watch as I give a 30-minute preview of a major investigative work that I’ve been working on about the privatization of the national parks during his travels in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana over the last few weeks.  

Thanks so much for all the donations as we continue reporting on this story. 

Be sure to donate to help us continue to travel and report on workers’ uprisings. 

The best way to support us is to sign up as one of our 672 recurring donors today. 

Love & Solidarity, 


Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
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 2015, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he grew up in a UE union household. Email: [email protected]

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