Our wages reflect our readers’ values. 

Payday Report Founder Mike covering a historic strike at GM in 2019 while the UAW's leadership was getting ready to go jail (Payday Report)

PITTSBURGH, PA. – As a freelance labor reporter, I was always outraged by the poor treatment I received when we covered workers’ rights. When I founded Payday Report back in 2016, I wanted to found a publication that reflected the union democracy and transparency that I grew up with in a UE family in Pittsburgh. 

We have always prided ourselves on treating employees fairly, transparently, paying them at least $32-an-hour, and in keeping with the democratic trade union spirit and solidarity that inspires so many of us to join in helping others. 

We always paid at least $32-an-hour because I felt that was a fair wage for labor reporters and I’ve always appreciated our readers in helping to get folks paid well. 

Big thanks to our readers, whose generous donations have allowed us to pay folks well whenever we have the budget for freelancers. We are building the structure to turn Payday into a reader coop that allows readers and donors to get more involved in expanding and creating a new form of labor publication. 

If anyone has any questions about our labor practices or wanna get involved in Payday Report, feel free to email me [email protected]. We are hoping to organize some meetings soon to discuss it more. 

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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]