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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.

Fair Wages for NY Taxi Drivers Now a Reality

Photo by WanderingtheWorld/flickr

Bhairavi Desai, president of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), says the first raise New York City taxi drivers will receive in six years means: 

We'll be able to earn a decent living.

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Green Bay Labor Council, United Way Launch Diaper Drive

Green Bay Labor Council, United Way Launch Diaper Drive

Anyone who has ever raised kids knows that in those early years, you can never have too many diapers. But for low-income families, the cost of keeping infants in an average of about a dozen diapers a day and toddlers in eight can be a major financial burden.

This week in Green Bay Wis., the Brown County United Way, in partnership with the Greater Green Bay Labor Council Community Services Committee along with 21 community partners launched the first annual Brown County Diaper Drive.

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Trumka: Lifting Restrictions on U.S. Investments in Burma ‘Premature’

The U.S. government’s decision to ease restrictions on U.S. investments in Burma is “premature and poorly thought through,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Lifting investment sanctions on a nation where forced labor and other human rights violations continue may, says Trumka:

undermine progress toward political reforms in Burma, rather than encourage movement toward democracy.

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AFL-CIO Backs Marriage Equality in DOMA Case Brief

AFL-CIO Backs Marriage Equality in DOMA Case Brief

The AFL-CIO today filed a “friend of the court" brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s ruling that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The 1996 law denies federal benefits to same-sex couples. In the brief, filed along with Change to Win (CTW) and the National Education Association (NEA), the three union groups say:

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), by intention and design, ensures that workers with same-sex spouses earn less money, are taxed more on their wages and benefits, and have available to them fewer valuable benefits and less economic security than their counterparts with different-sex spouses.

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More Major Corporations Dump ALEC Memberships

Five more major corporations severed their ties with the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Their exit brings the number of big corporations to 25—plus four major non-profit groups and 55 lawmakers—that have recently left ALEC and its agenda of voter suppression, union-busting and immigrant bashing. The five latest companies, according to Reuters, are Hewlett-Packard, CVS Caremark, Deere & Co., MillerCoors and Best Buy.

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House Republicans Say 'Don’t Bring Jobs Home'

House Republicans Say 'Don’t Bring Jobs Home'

House Republicans today decided it’s more important to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, which has helped hundreds of millions of U.S. families, than it is to pass legislation to bring back some of the 6 million jobs that have been shipped overseas in the past decade.

During this afternoon’s debate on the Republican bill to repeal the health care reform law, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld June 28, Democrats offered a measure opening the door for a vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act (H.R.5542). But Republicans blocked the measure by 238-184.  

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Goods Jobs and Apple Pie, Toomey Denies Both

Goods Jobs and Apple Pie, Toomey Denies Both

Good jobs should be as American as apple pie, but U.S. corporations have shipped some six million American jobs overseas in the past decade. Yesterday in Pittsburgh, some 200 union members told U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that it’s time to “Bring Jobs Home.”

Hoping to talk to Sen. Toomey (R-PA) or his staff to urge support for the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2884), the activists from 19 unions and labor groups marched to Toomey’s home office. But even the offering of an All-American, union-made apple pie (courtesy of Food and Commercial Workers [UFCW] Local 23) couldn’t get the group in the door.

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At the Last Minute, Congress Passes Transportation, Student Loan Bill

FunnyBiz

A little more than a day before the nation’s highway and transit projects would lose funding—threatening nearly 2 million jobs—and student loan interest rates were set to double, Congress acted.

The House (373-52) and Senate (74-19) this afternoon passed the two-year, $120 million Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 that will protect more than 2 million jobs and expand a loan guarantee program that could create an additional 1 million jobs (mostly in the construction sector). The bill also keeps interest rates for college students on subsidized Stafford Loans at 3.4 percent. They were set to double on July 1 to 6.8 percent.

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Appeal of the 'Made in America' Label Helps Bring Jobs Home

It's Time to Bring Jobs Home

USA

This week, leading up to July 4, we're highlighting American products, jobs and stories for our Made in America series. What are your favorite Made in America products? Please comment below and share your ideas.

Here’s an encouraging trend—it may not be big yet, but several mainstream media outlets have recently featured major stories on U.S. companies that are “reshoring” their manufacturing and bringing jobs home. We told you about Master Lock in Milwaukee last week. Here’s a look at some others.

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Subjects of Moore’s 'SiCKO' to Reunite in Philadelphia

Subjects of Moore’s 'SiCKO' to Reunite in Philadelphia

Michael Moore’s 2007 film "SiCKO" brought the story of America’s broken health care system to startling light with the sometimes tragic stories of those the system failed and the big insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations that made hundreds of billions of dollars. Moore and many of those from the film will hold a five-year "SiCKO" reunion tomorrow night in Philadelphia, just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.

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