Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and 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.

CDC test kit one open, one in plastic bag

State expands COVID-19 testing with pop-up, ad-hoc sites

By: - May 1, 2020

With more testing capacity than people who have been given tests for COVID-19, state agencies have begun setting up local, pop-up testing sites around Wisconsin. Drive-through testing was scheduled for Friday, May 1, in Alma for residents of Buffalo and Pepin counties. The event was organized by the State Emergency Operations Center, the Wisconsin Department […]

Retired Madison nurses Ann Louise Tetreault and Tracy Suprise hold a protest banner in front of the Capitol on April 30 during the Assembly hearing on WMC's plan for reopening the state. (Photo courtesy of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin)

GOP lawmakers embrace WMC plan to reopen

By: - May 1, 2020

A big business lobby’s proposal that would scrap Gov. Tony Evers’ COVID-19 battle plan and open up the state’s economy more quickly got a friendly airing by Republican lawmakers Thursday at a hearing that omitted testimony from public health professionals. Business operators and trade associations — the only invited witnesses at the hearing before the […]

May Day caravan to support safety, help for working people

By: - April 30, 2020

A week after more than a thousand people rallied on the state Capitol lawn to demand — against the advice of health experts — that Wisconsin end the shutdown of businesses and public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, another group will demonstrate in support of the state’s continued restrictions on gatherings — but also for […]

Carcasses in a meat processing plant

COVID-19 outbreaks highlight meatpacking plant conditions

By: - April 30, 2020

A growing series of COVID-19 outbreaks in American meatpacking plants — including in Wisconsin — is putting a spotlight on dangerous working conditions that employee advocates have been complaining about for decades. On Wednesday, state officials reported that Brown County has set up two isolation facilities for people who may have been exposed to the […]

The Karofsky campaign moved events to social media and Facebook live amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo from Jill For Justice Facebook page)

Political organizers pivot to a digital campaign

By: - April 30, 2020

When Vice President Mike Pence visited Madison’s GE Healthcare ventilator factory on April 21 to praise company workers and tout the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin offered a rebuttal a couple of days later. In a video on its Facebook page, Democratic Party spokesperson Philip Shulman looked at the camera […]

An array of face masks for COVID-19

Labor unions go remote to mark Workers Memorial Day

By: - April 28, 2020

Workers Memorial Day — an annual observation for workers who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job — is usually an occasion for somber parades, memorial services and rallies to raise the issue of workplace safety. In 2020, the April 28 event is being celebrated differently in Wisconsin because of […]

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 18: A member of the health care staff from the Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) prepares to test people for the coronavirus in the parking lot of its Doris Ison Health Center on March 18, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

COVID-19’s missing cases

By: - April 28, 2020

Every day, Wisconsin counties and the state Department of Health Services (DHS) post new updates on the number of people infected and the number who have died from COVID-19. The numbers creep up unevenly from day to day. On Monday, April 27, DHS logged 170 new cases, for a statewide total of 6,081 people who […]

Man pouring Concrete

State urges employers to avoid layoffs with Work-Share

By: - April 27, 2020

Wisconsin’s revised Work-Share program is now up and running, enabling employers to schedule full-time workers as part-timers, while workers who lose hours can get unemployment compensation to make up for lost wages. Language making it easier for employers to implement a Work-Share program was included in the COVID-19 relief bill passed and signed into law […]

Person in wheelchair

COVID-19’s impact is intensified for people with disabilities

By: - April 23, 2020

Gladys Walker’s 5-year-old son was coughing, lethargic and feverish over a three-week period in March and early April, but the family struggled to get him medical attention. The Walker family lives in Nekoosa. Even when her son’s fever spiked to 107 degrees, Walker says, an area clinic denied her request to bring him in to […]

Wisconsin State Capitol Police car in front of Wisconsin Capitol. (Photo: WI Department of Administration)

Evers takes ‘good cop’ stance on Safer at Home protest

By: - April 23, 2020

On the eve of a planned protest in front of the state Capitol by people flouting the state’s Safer at Home order, Gov. Tony Evers said on Thursday that he won’t ask Capitol police to intervene or arrest participants — even though they would be there without a permit. “I celebrate the First Amendment and […]

Zoom screen shot of clergy press conference

Clergy group backs workers and Safer at Home extension

By: - April 23, 2020

An interfaith group of clergy joined workers Wednesday to back the extension of Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order through May and to criticize Republican legislative leaders for trying to block it with a lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court. Participants, representing Christian, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist and other faith groups, took part to show “their […]