Sacramento Teachers Walk Out – Special Metals Strike in WV Enters 150th Day – Gizmodo Workers Walk Out in 1st for Digital Media  

Special Metals steelworkers on the picket line in Huntington, West Virginia (@HeyJohnRussell)


Greetings from Ennis, Montana, population 900, where Payday is investigating how the work-from-home revolution has dramatically driven up rent and housing prices in scenic locations like Ennis. 

Big thanks to everyone who donated to keep us on the road. We are looking forward to releasing some stories this week from our travels in Montana. 

Pittsburgh Coffee Workers Successfully Unionize 1st Store

Back in Pittsburgh, workers at the Pittsburgh-based coffee chain Coffee Tree Roasters voted last week to unionize by a margin of 17-3. 

The victory makes the small chain the first successful unionized coffee chain in the city. 

“It feels amazing to be a part of this and to get the win for our union,” Riley Davis, an employee at Coffee Tree’s Mt. Lebanon store, said in a statement released last week. “I have seen so many of my previous coworkers leave for better wages and change, and to see that now we have a voice to improve our workplace makes me excited to make it great for the coworkers I have now.”

For more, check out WESA. 

Sacramento Teachers Walkout Over Lifting of Mask Mandate

In the suburbs of Sacramento, over 200 teachers called in sick to protest Rocklin Unified School District’s decisions to defy the state of California’s mask mandate for K-12. 

“While there are varying opinions on masking in our community and our schools, the issue teachers are most concerned about is the lack of respect for educators blatantly displayed by the RUSD Board of Trustees in making this change,” the union stated Monday in a press release.“Our school board’s actions not only violated the state mandate, they violated our collectively bargained agreements, and, most importantly, the trust we worked so hard to establish.”

For more on the walkout, check out The Sacramento Bee. 

100 Gizmodo Media Workers Are on Strike

Over 100 media workers went on strike Tuesday at the Gizmodo Media Group following a 93% strike authorization vote. The strike affects publications such as The Root, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Kotaku, and Lifehacker. 

The strike is the first time digital media workers have pledged to go on a strike that would last more than one day. 

“In 2015, this union broke new ground when it organized the first digital media union,” the GMG union said in a statement. “Now, GMG Union will break ground yet again: We are the first digital media shop to go on an open-ended strike for a fair contract.”

For more on the strike, check out the latest from the Writers’ Guild of America East. 

Special Metals Strike Passes 150-Day Mark

The strike at Special Metals in Huntington, West Virginia, passed its 150th day this week. 

Back in October, Payday Report traveled to Huntington, West Virginia, to cover the strike of the 450 steelworkers at the Warren Buffet-owned Special Metals. Despite months on the picket line in cold winter weather, the union at Special Metals says it’s prepared to continue fighting. 

“Things get tougher, but we’re still here,” Special Metals striker Lonnie Creddock told WOWK. “We’re still out here. We’ve got plenty of support. You hear all those horns? That’s what makes you feel good, that’s what keeps you going.”

For more, check out WOWK in Huntington. 

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere

Alright folks, that’s all for today from Wyoming. We will have more dispatches and updates soon.

If you can, donate today so we can pay for gas, rental car, food, and gloves that I keep losing. 

Please, consider signing up as one of our 671 recurring donors today.

As always, keep sending story ideas, tips, comments, and news links to [email protected]

Thanks again so much for all of your support. 

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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