Payday Has Filed 16 Dispatches from Brazil on the Presidential Elections

Lula campaigns in Minas Gerias, a key battleground in the Brazilian Presidential Election (Ricardo Stuckert)

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While many outlets, even on the left, have largely ignored the presidential election in Brazil — the world’s fourth-largest democracy — Payday has published in-depth, on-the-ground reports from the perspective of Brazil’s workers. 

Payday has completed 14 dispatches while reporting in Brazil, and we provided all this in-depth coverage because of crowdfunding from our readers. 

Payday was with Lula when he voted on election day in São Paulo during the first round of the Brazilian presidential election. We interviewed union leaders in São Paulo, who told us how they were inspired to fight back against fascism after the recent advancements of the U.S. labor movement. 

In the Bolsonaro stronghold of Curitiba, Payday interviewed autoworkers desperately fighting for the survival of their unions. Some unions there have seen their budget cut by as much as 40% because Bolsonaro implemented a “right-to-work”-like system. 

In Rio de Janeiro, we talked to community activists and trade union leaders who were speaking out against pro-Bolsonaro paramilitary gangs who control areas of the city that contain more than 1.7 million residents. 

At Lula’s 77th birthday party, we wrote extensively about how Lula’s message of “Returning Brasil to Happiness” resonated and created a deeper political vision.

Finally, we even traveled to a union-owned “colônia de férias,” which in English roughly translates to “vacation colony,” to cover ways that Brazilian unions reach members that American unions don’t.

Payday did all this coverage despite my laptop dying and my iPhone being stolen. Every time we got into a technological crisis overseas, our readers in the U.S. donated to help us keep covering this crucial fight against fascism. 

Now, we need your help once again. 

The election is on Sunday, and we need your help to keep paying for travel costs and to pay our salaries while we work. 

If you can, donate to help us focus on covering this election and not on fundraising. 

Donate to Help Us Cover the Presidential Election in Brazil. 

Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 735 recurring donors today. 

Love & Solidarity,


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]

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