Volkswagen - UAW Coverage

On Friday evening, shortly after landing in Chattanooga to attend a meeting of injured Volkswagen workers, I got the news that all 5 of the unionized staff writers at In These Times, including myself, are getting laid off in June. 

Layoffs don't stop labor reporters from covering tough fights though. This is my third layoff - my second at In These Times. If my readers knew what my bank account looked like half of the time that I have been on out picket lines, they would be horrified.  

However, this time if I am going to keep getting the scoops on the Volkswagen story, I am going to need your help as readers to do it. And if you give enough, you might even get a bottle of homemade Tennessee moonshine out of it. 

While I don't mind sleeping on an air mattress, I do still have to pay the bill at Waffle House. Likewise, I need money to pay for plane tickets, rental cars, and really horrific airport food so that we can keep getting you an exclusive in depth snapshot of what is happening during one of the most important union drives in a generation.

Never before as a labor reporter, have I been able to spend so much time on the ground as I have been in Chattanooga, during the UAW organizing efforts at the Volkswagen plant there. It has helped me get some big scoops including details on: missteps by the UAW; low level VW supervisors violating the firm's neutrality pledge by actively campaigning against the union, and of injuries afflicting workers at the plant.

But there is still so much that we don't know about the shadowy outside forces that defeated the UAW and workers at the plant. Who paid them to do it? I plan to get to the bottom of this whether I have a job or not. As pro-union workers battle against shop floor retaliation to win over the votes of 44 workers who tipped the balance against unionization, this information will be vitally important to pro-union workers fighting sophisticated disinformation campaign within the plant. 

I plan to go to whereever I have to go - Chattanooga, Germany, Detroit, Capitol Hill to get to the bottom of this story. Whether or I have a job or not, I'm gonna get the answers because thats what labor reporters do.  

So, please, donate, if you want to hear the inside play by play of legal proceedings that will help shed light on these shadowy corporate union busters as well as the story of workers who fight back. Without your support, I just can't possibly continue to cover it.

And if you give $250, you will get a bottle of some homemade Tennessee moonshine!

Hopefully, if we can get some money in the door for continued Volkswagen coverage, we can figure out a way I can keep my job. So keep me on the beat and help me keep my job. So please share this on facebook or twitter and contribute. Its important not just for me, but for the workers who deserve to know the truth.  

Melk
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Mike Elk 
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