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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.

Union Movement Must Be ‘Broad, Inclusive,’ Shuler Tells Union Lawyers

The future of the union movement, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler told some 600 members of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee (LCC), depends on showing the public that through our actions on the ground we are a:

broad, inclusive, innovative worker-driven organization....We need to build a broader, stronger, more effective movement for all working people—union and nonunion. That means organizing. It means advocacy. It means grassroots mobilization.

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Craig Becker Named AFL-CIO General Counsel

NLRB photo

Craig Becker, a former member of the National Labor Relations Board, has been named AFL-CIO general counsel, joining General Counsel Lynn Rhinehart in leading the federation’s legal work on behalf of working people. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says:

The strengths of these two extraordinary lawyers, Becker and Rhinehart, are a perfect complement, and together they will lead a powerhouse legal program to protect and promote the interests of working men and women.

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Bill Lucy Steps Down from CBTU

AFSCME Photo

William (Bill) Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), is stepping down from the post he has held since he co-founded the CBTU in 1972. He says:

It’s time for a new leader to step into these shoes and connect with young workers who need to see their generation out front in more leadership roles, trying new approaches to empower black trade unionists and achieve social justice at home and abroad.

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Nurses Lead Chicago Rally for Robin Hood Tax

NNU Photo/flickr

Thousands of National Nurses United (NNU) activists and others called for a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street in a massive demonstration in Chicago. Said NNU co-President Karen Higgins, during the rally in Daley Plaza:

We are watching and seeing Wall Street throwing our money away as we see people suffer and die. It will not continue. We pay sales tax. It is time for Wall Street to start paying back what they owe the rest of the country and they need to pay sales tax.

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Check Out New Online Women’s Health Community

Our sisters at the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) want to get the word out about a new online women’s health community just launched by the non-profit group Healthy Women that CLUW has partnered with on many projects. CLUW President Karen See says the new online community offers:

a safe health haven for women and a place where women can ask health questions, get answers and share their own experiences with other women, as well as with health care experts.

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Enter Union Plus Contest for Free Week’s Car Rental

Enter Union Plus Contest for Free Week’s Car Rental

Vacation season is fast approaching and you still have time to let Union Plus put you in the driver’s seat. Just enter the Union Plus contest for a chance to win a weeklong car rental. All you need to do is click here and register for program e-mails and mobile alerts. Union Plus will keep you posted about valuable new benefits, future contests and more.

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NLRB Issues Complaint Against Verizon Over Firings

Photo by peoplesworld/flickr

The National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) has taken action against Verizon for the firing and disciplining of its workers after a two-week strike last August. NLRB Region 2 has authorized the issuance of a complaint against Verizon for 58 of the 63 cases of unfair dismissal or discipline charges brought by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). 

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Safety Inspections Save Lives, Don’t Hurt Business

Safety Inspections Save Lives, Don’t Hurt Business

We’ve known this for decades and now the journal Science has empirical proof that workplace safety and health inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) save lives, reduce employers’ costs for workers’ compensation and do not have any negative economic effect on the inspected businesses.

The authors of the study—three professors from the University of California, Harvard Business School and Boston University—say they set out to answer a simple question: Do government regulations kill jobs—as business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republican lawmakers claim—or protect the public?  

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ALEC Has Deep Ties, Big Money in Wisconsin Lawmakers and Governor

Illustration by WatchingFrogsBoil/flickr

A new report reveals the “extraordinary influence” the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has had in the Wisconsin legislature during the past 16 months—the same 16 months since Gov. Scott Walker (R) took power. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), which released the report, says ALEC's influence:

undermines the rights of Wisconsin families while advancing the agenda of huge corporations.

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House Republicans Rebuff Nuclear Worker Safety

House Republicans have blocked efforts to maintain strong workplace health safety rules for workers at the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities. Republicans leaders rejected even a vote on an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would have preserved the current standards.They are pushing an extreme proposal to deregulate worker safety and allow employer self–regulation and self-oversight.

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