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Showing blog posts by Mike Hall

Mike Hall

I’m a former West Virginia newspaper reporter, staff writer for the United Mine Workers Journal and managing editor of the Seafarers Log. I came to the AFL- CIO in 1989 and have written for several federation publications, focusing on legislation and politics, especially grassroots mobilization and workplace safety. When my collar was still blue, I carried union cards from the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers, American Flint Glass Workers and Teamsters for jobs in a chemical plant, a mining equipment manufacturing plant and a warehouse. I’ve also worked as roadie for a small-time country-rock band, sold my blood plasma and played an occasional game of poker to help pay the rent. You may have seen me at one of several hundred Grateful Dead shows. I was the one with longhair and the tie-dye. Still have the shirts, lost the hair.

Tell the Department of Labor to Stop Wall Street from Draining Your Retirement Account

Tell the Department of Labor to Stop Wall Street from Draining Your Retirement Account

When you pay a financial adviser to help you invest your hard-earned retirement savings, you would assume that they would be required, by law, to have your best interests at heart. But because of loopholes in the rules, advisers can get away with not only putting their own financial interests above that of their clients, but also allows them to take incentives from Wall Street firms to recommend investments that drain funds from ordinary Americans’ retirement accounts through hidden fees and lower returns. The White House Council of Economic Advisers says this costs us $17 billion a year.

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Happy July 4! Let’s Keep It Made in America

UFCW members Tanya Mounts and Jackie Darr add the grommets to a large American flag at Annin’s Coshocton, Ohio, plant.

In honor of America’s birthday, July 4, for the past week we have been highlighting a wide range of union-made-in-America products and services. In case you are online this Independence Day, between parades, barbecues and fireworks, here’s a recap of our featured made-in-America products, from beer to tires to vacations and more.

Don’t forget to check out the vintage commercials in the posts.

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Made in America: Pet Treats and Products

Want to give your dog a bone? Give Fido one made in America by union workers who make Milk-Bone. Members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 36G and Machinists (IAM) Local 330 in Buffalo, N.Y., produce a variety of sizes, flavors and biscuits, including Flavor Snacks, Healthy Favorites, Soft and Chewy Dog Snacks and other assorted Milk-Bone-branded dog treats.

 

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Take a Made-in-America Vacation

What could be more “Made in America” than a good old USA summer vacation that’s union made, too? Here are some tips from Union Plus.

 

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Quench Your Thirst with a Union-Made-in-America Brew

Quench Your Thirst with a Union-Made-in-America Brew

Like the song says, “Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets.” Then you can cool off with a made in America and union-brewed cold beer. There’s a wide range of union-made beers to please any palate, from the ubiquitous Bud Light from Anheuser-Busch to the hard to find Talon Double IPA from Mendocino Brewing Co. to organic brews from Butte Creek Brewing and the classic “Land of Sky Blue Waters” Hamm’s from Miller/Coors.

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Time to Say Goodbye

Photo by Joe Kekeris

After more than 35 years writing for union newspapers, magazines, e-newsletters, fax alerts and blogs, and even sending out a few tweets and texts lately, this is my last—as we used to call it— story. I’m retiring from the AFL-CIO after 26 years.

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TAA Works—Just Ask Michael Smith

Michael Smith worked for 13 years as a crane operator at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point, Md., plant. But in 2012 the plant—then owned by R.G. Steel—was forced to shut its doors after a series of flawed trade deals and U.S. policy decisions allowed cheap, subsidized foreign steel to flood the market. Smith was among 2,500 United Steelworkers members who lost their jobs. 

 

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Appeals Court Upholds Injunction Against Obama’s Immigration Executive Action

May Day rally in Washington, D.C., 2013

A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied the Justice Department's appeal of a federal district judge's February decision that temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's November executive action on immigration. The court’s ruling threatens immigration relief for as many as 4 million people. Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement (read after the jump).

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Echoes of 2011: Kasich Eliminates Workers’ Collective Bargaining Rights

Echoes of 2011: Kasich Eliminates Workers’ Collective Bargaining Rights

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), whose attempt to strip tens of thousands of public employees of their bargaining rights in 2011 failed, lashed out last week at the state’s 10,000 child care and home care workers when he issued an executive order stripping them of their collective bargaining rights.

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Join APWU’s May National Day of Action to Save Public Postal Service

APWU photo

On May 14, members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and their union and community allies will hold a national day of action to spotlight the nation’s need for a strong and vital U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and a fair contract for APWU members.

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