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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.

Wisconsin: Working Families Win Back Senate

WI

Despite retaining his seat, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), in last night's recall election, appears to have lost control of the state Senate with former state Sen. John Lehman’s (D) victory over Walker ally state Sen. Van Wanggaard. If Lehman’s win holds up, it will give Democrats a one-seat (17-16) majority in the state.

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LAX Hilton Workers Share in $2.5 Million Settlement

UNITEHERE! photo

Some 1,200 workers at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport (LAX) hotel will share a $2.5 million settlement to a class-action suit that alleged the hotel withheld wages, failed to pay overtime and failed to provide meal and rest breaks to workers from 2004 to 2011. Hilton agreed to settle the suit filed in 2008. Juan Banales, a Hilton LAX cook of nearly 20 years, says:

For years, I was unable to take breaks. The law says you have the right to take breaks. It's a shame we had to file a lawsuit to get the hotel to understand that.

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Wisconsin: Packers Receivers Join Recall Drive

Jermichael Finley. Photo by elviskennedy/Flickr

WI

Let's give a shout out to Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and wide receiver Tori Gurley who are urging Wisconsin voters to cast their ballots for Tom Barrett in his race to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Both players say they are “proud to be union” workers. Four-year veteran Finely has more than 127,000 followers on Twitter; and Finley, entering his second year with the Packers, has more than 12,000. Both are members of the of NFL Players Association (NFLPA) .

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Wisconsin: Turnout and Enthusiasm High in Recall Balloting

TweetPic by bluecheddar1

WI

Turnout is high across Wisconsin today as working families are getting out the vote to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and elect Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as the state’s new governor.

Voters also are casting ballots in recall races that pit Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state Senate recalls. A pickup of one seat would swing control of the Senate away from Walker’s Republican allies who spearheaded his 2011 drive to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of 380,000 public workers.

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Wisconsin: Nationwide GOTV Recall Drive's Ringing the Phones

WI

The battle in Wisconsin resonates far beyond its borders. That’s why working people across the country are volunteering their time at phone banks in a huge get-out-the-vote (GOTV) drive for Tom Barrett in today’s recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R).

The 40 lines at the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 14 have been buzzing since Wednesday, says Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) Political Director Hanah Jubeh.

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ALEC Resignations Grow, Pressure on Others Mounts

For those of us keeping score, 19 major corporations and 54 state legislators have cut their ties with the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Now pressure is mounting for other major corporations to join the exodus from ALEC and its agenda of voter suppression, union-busting and immigrant bashing.

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Wisconsin: Huge GOTV Push Marks Recall’s Final Days

Shelly Glodowski. Wisconsin AFL-CI0 photo

WI

Wisconsin working family volunteers packed phone banks around the state and saturated neighborhoods in a huge weekend get-out-the-vote (GOTV) push to put Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett over the top in Tuesday’s recall election. The coalition We Are Wisconsin reports that volunteers knocked on more than 257,000 doors on Saturday and will continue the GOTV push through Election Day.

Retired state employee Shelly Glodowski said she was volunteering on the phones because Gov. Scott Walker (R):

has done a lot to hurt the middle class and hurt workers. We need all the help we can get [to recall him], every little bit helps.

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AFSCME Leaders Chronicle Main Street’s Fight Against the 1%

AFSCME Leaders Chronicle Main Street’s Fight Against the 1%

The Main Street Moment: Fighting Back to Save the American Dream, a new book by AFSCME President Gerald McEntee and Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders, examines the recent unprecedented attacks on workers’ rights, growing income inequality and how everyday people are fighting back against the 1%.

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Wisconsin: What’s So Important About Collective Bargaining?

Wisconsin: What’s So Important About Collective Bargaining?

WI

There are many reasons to fire Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) next Tuesday. But some people in Wisconsin and others who are following the recall battle between Walker, who last year eliminated the collective bargaining rights of 380,000 public employees, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), who supports workers’ rights to bargain, are asking:

What’s so important about collective bargaining in the first place?

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Pa. AFL-CIO Reaches Out to Help Jobless

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO partnered with the United Way of Erie County last week to host an unemployment resources fair for jobless workers as part of Project Back on Track, a new program intended to help the unemployed. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale says several more resource fairs are planned around the state.

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