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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.

Global Petition Demands Hyatt Rehire Fired Housekeepers

Last October, the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, Calif., fired two sisters with 30 years of combined experience after they objected to the posting of demeaning pictures of housekeepers in bikinis on a company bulletin board. Yesterday, Hyatt workers, clergy, and local elected officials delivered nearly 100,000 petition signatures from around the world to the hotel’s general manager condemning the hotel’s dismissal of sisters Martha and Lorena Reyes and calling for their reinstatement with full back pay.

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Arizona Appraisers Affiliate with OPEIU’s Appraisers Guild

The Coalition of Arizona Appraisers (CoAA) has voted to affiliate with the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA), a guild of the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU).

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Older Workers Have Highest Long-Term Jobless Rate

Older workers who lose their jobs have the highest rate of long-term unemployment compared to any other age group. In 2011, more than half of jobless workers, ages 50 years and older, were out of work for more than six months. The trend continues this year. Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project (NELP), told the Senate Special Committee on Aging this afternoon:

The prospects are dim for older workers who lose their jobs.

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House Republicans Threaten Nuclear Worker Safety

Some of the most hazardous job sites for workers in the nation are the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) nuclear weapons facilities. But House Republicans are pushing extreme proposals in the Defense Authorization bill to deregulate worker safety and allow employers self–regulation and self-oversight—even at the most hazardous facilities.

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New York Cabbies Drive for Dignity

Photo by Stan Schnier

The 45,000 taxi cabs in New York City have been described as the seventh-largest transportation system in the United States—and at the AFL-CIO Innovators webpage, writer Robert Struckman notes:

If you ask a driver, there’s a good chance he or she will tell you, "I’m a member of the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA)."

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New Santa Fe Worker Center Protects Rights for All Workers

New Santa Fe Worker Center Protects Rights for All Workers

The Santa Fe, N.M., community and immigrant rights group, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, recently opened a new Worker Center. Somos worked closely with the Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council, the New Mexico Federation of Labor (NMFL) and Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) in establishing the center, which will be vital to the group’s mission to promote worker and racial justice.

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Big Response to Letter Carriers' Food Drive

Volunteers in Los Angeles sort the tens of thousands of pounds of food collected to  “Stamp Out Hunger.”

Letter Carriers (NALC) around the nation Saturday collected millions of pounds of food for families in need during the union’s 20th annual “Stamp Out Hunger Food” drive. An official total isn’t available yet, but the NALC is hoping to best last year’s total of more than 70 million pounds.

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Verizon Moms: Flowers Are Nice but a Contract Is Better

What do working moms at Verizon and Verizon Wireless want for Mother’s Day? Well it’s sure not a phone, despite what Verizon says in their wall-to-wall TV ads this past week or so. After 11 months of bargaining with the communications giant, they want a fair contract.

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Unions, Kaiser Permanente Reach Tentative Agreement

Kaiser Permanente and the nearly 100,000 members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, reached tentative agreement yesterday on a new, three-year national contract. The tentative agreement covers workers at hundreds of Kaiser Permanente health care facilities in nine states. The current agreement expires Sept. 30.

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OSHA Launches Drive to Prevent Worker Heat Illnesses

With summer approaching, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has kicked off a national outreach initiative to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather and how to prevent heat-related illnesses that kill 30 workers a year.

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