Politico announced that labor reporter Mike Elk is no longer with the company. Elk’s employment had been in question with signs indicating his dismissal while Elk was insisting he was merely on a pre-planned vacation. This was first reported by Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post.
Politico released the following statement that reiterated that Elk was not let go due to his union organizing:
Mike Elk no longer works at POLITICO. As a long-standing company policy, we do not and will not comment on the specifics of personnel matters. We can say that Mike Elk’s recent departure has nothing to do with his union activities. POLITICO employees have been, and continue to be, free to engage in or refrain from union activities.
Elk was hired to cover labor for the political news organization. Unlike other reporters, he was open about his opinion on his beat. Elk, like his father, unabashedly supported unionization and led an internal drive to unionize Politico workers.
The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild has been working with Elk and releasing statements on his behalf. On Thursday, the group said that Elk was still with Politico, “Mike Elk is an associate member of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild through the national guild, and he is a labor reporter for Politico, and he is on vacation until Sept. 1.”
Elk did say he had a confrontational phone call with Marty Kady, the editor of Politico Pro awhile back. However, Elk invoked his Weingarten Rights to have a union representative present.