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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.

California’s Prop. 32: How Does It Affect Union Members?

Why would corporate CEOs and deep-pocketed conservative campaign contributors finance and push a California ballot initiative that purports to keep “Special Interest” money out of politics?

Because thanks to loopholes big enough to drive armored trucks full of campaign cash through, it doesn’t keep their money out of politics. Prop. 32 keeps union members’ money out of politics.

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Atlanta Falcons Players, Labor Council Team Up for Voter Registration Drive

Photo by DawgFanJeff/Flickr

If you live in the Marietta, Ga., area and haven’t registered to vote and are a football fan, you have a chance Wednesday to make your voice heard at the ballot box and meet members of the Atlanta Falcons and NFL Players Association (NFLPA). The players are pitching in with the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council for a voter registration event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches at 801 Church St., N.E.

No matter where you live, if you haven’t registered to vote, click here to find out how to register in your state. 

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Union Good Samaritan Makes Sure Money for the Homeless Not Gone with the Wind

A lot of us—I confess I’ve done it—have gotten distracted getting into the car and left something on the roof or trunk and driven off. That’s what Jane Corbett of Shrewsbury, Mo., did last week near St. Louis, with more than $800 earmarked to feed the homeless. Thanks to the fast action of Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA) member Ray Leuthauser and the generosity of his fellow union members, nobody missed a meal.

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MSNBC’s Wagner Takes on Aiken’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Claim, Lack of Women’s Voices in Politics

On the day after Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin made some of the most ignorant and outrageous statements about women, pregnancy and so-called “legitimate rape,” MSNBC’s "NOW With Alex Wagner" explored how the debate over women’s issues is often done by men.

Wagner’s guests included U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter.

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Ohio Officials Ratchet Up Voter Suppression Campaign

AFL-CIO Ohio and community groups protest the end of weekend voting directive today.

One Ohio election official said he frankly doesn’t care if the state’s attempt to curtail weekend early voting hours suppresses voting by minority and low-income voters. Meanwhile, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted suspended and will try to fire two county election officials who had the audacity to oppose his voter suppression tactics

Ohio AFL-CIO is protesting outside Husted's office today. They will march from Husted's office to the Franklin County Board of Elections for its meeting at 3 p.m. For more photos of the protest and updates, visit Ohio AFL-CIO's Facebook page here

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D.C. Metro Council: Helping Workers Build Futures

DC Metro Photo

A union construction and building trades career can put workers on the path to the middle class. The Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council Community Services Agency's Building Futures pre-apprenticeship construction program can be the first step on that path.

The next course begins in October and applications are due by Sept. 14. Click here for a brochure, or call 202-974-8223 for more information.

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More Texas Lawmakers Cut Ties with ALEC

Illuistration By Center for Media and Democracysate capitol

Thirteen more Texas legislators, including 10 Republicans, have severed their ties with the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Earlier this year, another dozen Lone Star State lawmakers said goodbye to ALEC. Matt Glazer, executive director of Progress Texas, the group that has helped expose ALEC’s influence in the state legislature, says:

These legislators have shown the courage of their convictions by standing up to a corporate bill factory and declaring their support for the people of Texas above all else. 

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Broken Job Promise Slows Corporate Tax Break

We’ve seen this movie before. A company goes before a local or state government and promises jobs and an economic boost, but they need just one little thing first—tax breaks! But after pocketing taxpayers’ money, guess what? No jobs, just broken promises. (See T-Mobile.)

This week in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council had enough.

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AFGE Elects Cox as New President

AFGE photo

J. David Cox was elected AFGE president yesterday by delegates to the union’s convention in Las Vegas. Cox, who served the past six years as AFGE’s secretary-treasurer, succeeds John Gage, who retired after serving nine years in the top job. Eugene Hudson Jr. was elected secretary-treasurer and Augusta Thomas was re-elected vice president for Women´s and Fair Practices.

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PLA for NBC Universal Redevelopment in L.A. Means 13,000 Construction Jobs

Photo by Rob J. Brooks/Flickr

A new project labor agreement (PLA) between Southern California construction unions and NBC Universal for a major redevelopment of the company’s movie and television studios and the Universal City theme park in Los Angeles will create about 13,000 local construction jobs.    

The PLA reached between the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and NBC Universal on the 10-year project in the east San Fernando Valley was announced yesterday.

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