Politico Cites Payday Investigation on SEIU Sexual Assault


This week was a big week for us as my former employer Politico, which illegally fired me for union organizing in 2015, cited Payday’s reporting on sexual assault cover-ups in SEIU.

Our investigation reporting won national attention and I say our reporting because of of the hundreds of readers, who have given to Payday over the past year, made it possible. More than money, y’all given encouragement to push on mornings like today when I wake up and my checking account is in the negative.

This past week, we as a publication funded by readers got an SEIU staffer, who sexually assaulted another staff, fired and banned from the union. We also exposed a system of hiring within SEIU that allowed a staffer, who sexually assaulted a staffer in one local, to simply move to another local.

Over the past year, we have done so much together as a publication.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for our readers. We have covered 130 stories and uncovered stories of labor rights abuse and courageous organizing that the rest of the press neglects

In 2018, we plan to do even more.

So this Black Friday, don’t spend money on gifts, spend it on labor reporting, its a bargain when you consider what a great investment it is.

Consider Donating Here

Check out what we have done recently.

In the past month:

  • Following an investigation by Payday Report, SEIU has fired one of their staffers over the sexual assault of another staff member within their organization. Payday Report uncovered that SEIU allowed a staffer who had been forced to leave one Boston-area SEIU local following an internal investigation to then be rehired at two other SEIU locals in California.
  • We broke the story of how Trump’s OSHA was not coordinating health and safety training with immigrants rights workers groups, putting hurricane clean-up workers at risk in Texas; our exposé in the Guardian came out the day before a hurricane clean-up worker was killed by a flesh-eating bacteria.
  • We were the only national outlet to cover how the Pittsburgh DSA took out two key incumbents and is poised to take out even more incumbents in this May’s Democratic Primary.
  • We were the only national outlet to cover the defeat of the Steelworkers union drive at Kumho Tire in Macon, Georgia, by a mere 28 votes. Payday also broke the story of how Kumho fired a union activist in retaliation.
  • We were the first national outlet to provide the inside story of how campus workers in Tennessee, despite lacking collective bargaining rights, were able to defeat Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to outsource thousands of campus jobs.
  • Down in Nashville, we continued to hold corporate Democrat Nashville Mayor Megan Barry accountable for her silence on the death of Latino construction workers and her failure to stand up for affordable housing.

And here is a look back at what we did in 2017 so far:

In solidarity,

Mike Elk

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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