Payday Sees Drop in Donors Over Sexual Misconduct in Unions Coverage

#MeToo movement supporters march in Columbus, Ohio (International Women's Strike)

Recently, Payday has seen a major drop in recurring donors, who are upset that Payday is criticizing unions publicly for failing to address sexual misconduct, retaliating against whistleblowers in their ranks, and undermining union democracy.

Many within the labor movement don’t feel that negative things about unions should be said in public. Many women, I have spoken to, have said they have feared coming forward after being sexually assault because they are scared it would give ammunition to anti-union employers to use in attacks on unions.

For far too long, a mentality has existed within organized labor that that opening up about labor’s problems makes labor look weak. As a result of this, no outlets on the left except Payday have covered the epidemic of sexual misconduct that has plagued many unions.

As someone, who grew up in a proud UE union household, it outrages me to see sexual misconduct go unpunished in the labor movement. This wasn’t how I was taught to respect and stand in solidarity with my sisters in the labor movement.

Payday has been proud of the fact that we are the only publication on the left that has covered sexual misconduct within labor’s ranks.

We got one union staffer, who sexually assaulted another union staffer, fired, we exposed retaliation against whistleblowers, and provided two corroborating witnesses for the largest sexual misconduct lawsuit in the history of the labor movement.

Now, we want to do more. We wanna take on sexual misconduct in the labor movement and help change the culture of the unfortunately all too often macho, alcohol filled world of some unions. However, many unions have addressed the problem of sexual misconduct in the past and the best way that we can learn how to combat sexual misconduct is to write about it.

The reporting we have done is time intensive, it involves getting people to go on the record, a big risk for which one of our sources was fired.

We have more big leads, but I need to put off paid freelance work to keep digging and liberal foundations don’t want to give money to labor reporters to expose their allies in the labor movement. I want to keep digging on this story, but we need your help to do so.

So please donate today.

Your money will be well spent. Just look at what we have done in the past year and half. There is some much more that we want to do.

SEIU Manager Sexually Assaulted Staffer Then Was Rehired At Another SEIU Local November 16, 2017

SEIU Fires Staffer Who Sexually Assaulted Another Staffer Following Payday Investigation – November 17, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: SEIU Officials Publicly Smear #MeToo Activists – February 18, 2018

Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit Filed Against SEIU Prez’s Top Ally – August 21, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: SEIU VP Dave Regan Accused of Sexual Misconduct & Retaliating Against Whistleblowers – March 1, 2019

Seiu Sexual Misconduct Misconduct Whistleblower Fired After Interview with Payday Report – March 6, 2019

SEIU Subpoenas Google to Identify Whistleblower as Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit Heats Up – March 11, 2019

Amid Growing Sexual Misconduct Scandal, SEIU Staff Vote to Strike – March 12, 2019

Harvard Honors SEIU Official Accused of Sexual Misconduct – March 13, 2019

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of the late William Greider, Mike Elk is a Sidney award winning labor reporter and the founder of Payday Report. He worked extensively as a correspondent for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement from being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report while living in Chattanooga. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he now lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

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