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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.

NYU Grad Employees Ratify Historic Contract

Photo coutesty of GSOC UAW Local 2110

New York University graduate employees—members of Graduate Student Organizing Committee UAW Local 2110—successfully capped a struggle that began at the turn of this century when they ratified a five year contract with the university. Lily Defriend, a Ph.D. candidate in the Anthropology Department said:

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In Ohio, Brown Rallies Workers Against Fast Track

Photo courtesy of Sen. Sherrod Brown's office.

While many of his congressional colleagues have been taking it easy during this two-week Easter–Passover recess, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has been carrying on his longtime fight against Fast Track trade authority and unfair trade deals that cost American jobs.

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Despite Labor Action Plan, Colombian Unionists Still Targeted for Death

Photo via Justice for Colombia

In the four years since the United States and Colombia signed the Labor Action Plan—a precursor  to the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement—to address entrenched labor rights violations, Colombian workers have suffered more than 1,933 threats and acts of violence, including 105 assassinations of union activists and 1,337 death threats, according to the latest report  issued by Escuela Nacional Sindical (Colombia’s National Union School).

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Culinary Union Donates Historical Photo Collection to UNLV

1976 strike at Caesar's Palace

The history of Culinary Workers Local 226 in Las Vegas, told through photographs, video interviews and other memorabilia, was the subject of a recent exhibition—“Line in the Sand: The People, Power and Progress of the Culinary Union”—at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Now the union has donated a treasure trove of thousands of historical photos, film negatives and slides to the UNLV University Libraries.

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Strong Contracts Boost UAW Membership

Photo courtesy of General Motors

As a result of strong collective bargaining agreements in a rebounding auto industry, the number of UAW-represented workers has grown for five straight years, with the latest government figures showing an increase to 403,466 in 2014, compared to 391,415 in 2013. Said UAW President Dennis Williams:

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Made in America: Union-Made Easter and Passover

Made in America: Union-Made Easter and Passover

Passover begins today and runs through April 10, and Easter is Sunday. Here’s a list of union-made in America treats to fill an Easter basket and other holiday accoutrements and some union-made in America recipe ingredients and drinks you may want to include in your seder and throughout Passover brought to you by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411.

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AFL-CIO Backs Baja Farm Workers’ Rights

The AFL-CIO has urged the Mexican government to ensure that the rights of some 80,000 agricultural workers in Baja California—including tens of thousands who have been on strike in the San Quintin Valley—are protected.

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Study Finds Union Mines Safer, More Productive Than Nonunion

UMWA photo

Once again, a study has shown that unionized coal mines are not only safer places to work than nonunion mines, but that union miners produce more coal. The study, by SNL Energy, found that in 2013 unionized mines in northern and central Appalachia produced about 94,091 tons of coal per injury versus 71,110 in nonunion mines, despite research suggesting that unionized miners are more likely to report injuries that have occurred on the job.

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AFL-CIO, CLC Denounce ‘Corporate Power Grabs’ Like ISDS in Trade Deals

Photo via http://eraclito450.blogspot.com/

On Monday, the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) reaffirmed their “cross-border cooperation in the struggle for people and planet-centered trade,” especially in three pending trade deals that would grant corporations “extraordinary legal rights” and power over each nation’s legal system.

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Indiana’s New Anti-LGBTQ Law ‘Condones Discrimination’

Photo via freedom Indiana Facebook page.

The Indiana legislature passed and Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a bill last week that critics, from human and civil rights groups to corporate CEOs to professional athletes, say opens the door to legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.

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