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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.

Local Union’s Innovative Health Care Cost Savings Get National Attention

Earlier this year, in our AFL-CIO website’s Innovators section, we profiled the work Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 49 in Minneapolis is doing to reduce health care costs and improve health care delivery for the union’s 12,000 members and 21,000 dependents. This week, MSNBC’s "The Dylan Ratigan Show" put the union’s work in the national spotlight.

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Are Your Tax Dollars Paying Your Boss?

Progress Ohio photo

A new study finds that nearly $700 million a year in state income taxes withheld from workers’ paychecks in 16 states is being used to provide lavish subsidies to corporations, rather than paying for vital public services. Workers likely believe their state taxes are going to fund schools, repair roads or pay for police and fire protection. But not so, says Paying Taxes to the Boss: How a Growing Number of States Subsidize Companies with the Withholding Taxes of Workers,” a study released today by Good Jobs First.

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Branson Promotes Anti-Union Vote in Virgin America Video

U.S. law requires that the “actual control” of U.S. airlines is in the hands of American citizens. So, why is mega-billionaire and United Kingdom citizen Richard Branson preaching the evils of unionization in a video message to the flight attendants at the supposedly U.S.-owned and -controlled Virgin America?

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Remembering BCTD’s Ayers

IBEW Photo

Tributes continue to come in for Mark Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), who died unexpectedly April 8 at age 63. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka calls Ayers an “extraordinary leader and friend.”

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Save on Cars and Smartphones with Union Plus

Save on Cars and Smartphones with Union Plus

With the Union Plus Auto Buying Program and the Union Plus AT&T Smart Phone Rebate, union members have two new ways to save on automobiles and smart phones through their Union Plus benefits.

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Corporate Tax Dodgers Didn’t Miss a Beat in 2011

We Are Michigan photo

A new report shows that most of the 30 Fortune 500 companies that paid no federal income tax from 2008 through 2010 were able to keep up their tax dodge two-step in 2011. Those nimble firms include Verizon, GE, Boeing, Wells Fargo, Tenet Health Care and more.

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AFL-CIO’s Silvers Named to SEC Investor Protection Panel

AFL-CIO Policy Director Damon Silvers has been appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new Investor Advisory Committee. The committee was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

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Get Ready for 99% Spring Tax Wealth, Not Work, Actions

Get Ready for 99% Spring Tax Wealth, Not Work, Actions

This week, some 100,000 activists from unions and community, faith and other progressive groups are in 99% Spring training sessions around the country, learning how to take back the economy from the 1%. Their first big round of actions is set for Tax Day, April 17. Click here to find a Tax Day action near you. Click here to find a training session near you.

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Contracts Expire, CWA and AT&T Extend Talks

CWA photo

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and AT&T agreed to continue contract talks for some 40,000 workers in four AT&T divisions after their contracts expired Sunday. CWA members at AT&T Midwest, AT&T West, AT&T Legacy and AT&T East have authorized strikes if fair contracts cannot be reached.

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Even Bunnies Know They’re Better Off Organized

Just in time for Easter, Pride at Work sends us this video to remind us it can be tough to organize at work, so you need to organize some bunnies to have your back. You might need to organize a lot of bunnies…and build an organization. There’s strength in numbers 

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