Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Senior Reporter Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, along with related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

Gov. Tony Evers visits a vaccination clinic in March 2021 | Evers' Facebook

New COVID-19 surge brings vaccine mandates as masks return

By: - August 4, 2021

As the resurgence of COVID-19  continues, driven by the especially contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, masks are coming back, and vaccine mandates are cropping up. A growing number of employers, primarily in health care and related fields, have announced they will require employees to be vaccinated or subject them to frequent tests for the […]

Photo of Republican Democrat Undecided voting ad in station on turnstiles

What will it take to turn a red seat blue?

By: - July 26, 2021

On a sunny summer afternoon, Ann Roe stood before an enthusiastic crowd in front of her Janesville home and made public a decision she’d been working on for months: to run for Congress to represent Wisconsin’s 1st District. “It is time for change in this district,” said Roe, “and time to elect a hard worker, […]

COVID-19 rises again as rapidly spreading Delta mutation takes hold

By: - July 23, 2021

Wisconsin’s daily count of new COVID-19 cases has nearly tripled in the last two weeks, and for state health officials, that trend added urgency Thursday to their longstanding plea for more people to get vaccinated. The state’s seven-day average of confirmed cases Thursday was 242 cases per day, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary […]

A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

COVID-19 cases on the rise again amid concerns about vaccine misinformation

By: - July 21, 2021

Positive tests for COVID-19 are continuing to increase, according to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). And while vaccinations are increasing, too, they are doing so at a much slower rate. Nationally, cases have been increasing as well, while vaccination rates have also been lagging, according to public health reports. […]

‘Fight for $15’ demonstration, janitor contract talks kick-off coincide in Milwaukee

By: - July 21, 2021

Two union campaigns converged on Milwaukee Tuesday with a common goal: $15 an hour minimum wage. A McDonald’s restaurant on the city’s Northwest Side was the site of a noon rally as workers in Milwaukee’s fast food industry staged a one-day walkout. The action was part of a nationwide day of rallies and walkouts organized […]

Cut logs

State’s struggling timber industry to get pandemic relief money

By: - July 20, 2021

Wisconsin loggers and timber haulers could share in a federal pandemic relief fund of up to $200 million that was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH) program in a conference call Tuesday with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and […]

Father of man killed by police in 2004 accuses prosecutor in emails to lawmakers 

By: - July 20, 2021

The father of a man killed by Kenosha police nearly 17 years ago is continuing his campaign to reexamine the case, now seeking to draw the Kenosha County District Attorney into his allegations of a police cover-up. On Monday, Michael M. Bell sent an email message to all Wisconsin legislators, as well as a number […]

Fight for $15 by the Milwaukee Teachers Education Union. McDonald's protest 1/15/21

Still fighting for $15

By: - July 19, 2021

Years ago when he was working for the discount retailer Kmart, Gary Lemke saw the cost of low wages: high employee turnover. Lemke estimates as many as half the workers would leave in a year.  That meant more than just having to hire and train new people. He is convinced it harmed the bottom line. […]

Health officials link salmonella outbreak to packaged greens

By: - July 17, 2021

An outbreak of salmonella traced to pre-packaged salad from a producer in Illinois has sickened four people in Wisconsin and five in Illinois, state health officials reported Friday. One person has been hospitalized due to the food-borne bacterial illness, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). In a press release, DHS said the […]

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

By: and - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting Thursday and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes in […]

Bid for Verso Paper could stall proposal to buy closed Wisconsin Rapids mill

By: - July 15, 2021

A preliminary offer to buy out Verso Paper has brought new uncertainty to an effort by timber-industry businesses that have formed a cooperative to buy Verso’s shuttered Wisconsin Rapids plant and reopen it. Verso confirmed Wednesday that it has been offered $20 a share by Atlas Holdings LLC, but the company said it would not […]

Factory Worker

State puts $130M into projects to provide worker training, address hiring challenges

By: - July 15, 2021

Wisconsin will use $130 million from the state’s federal pandemic relief funds to pay for new programs that aim to help employers find new workers and people without jobs find new work. The three programs, which Gov. Tony Evers announced at a news conference in Green Bay Wednesday morning, include: $100 million in so-called Workforce […]