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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.

AFM Protests Marvel’s Not So Marvelous Outsourcing

Photo by Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Captain America wouldn’t take kindly to someone raking in U.S. taxpayers’ dollars and then turning around and shipping American jobs overseas. Neither does the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). But that’s exactly what Marvel Entertainment did with the musical score for its blockbuster, "The Avengers," and that’s why AFM members today will picket the Wilmington, N.C., location where Marvel (a Walt Disney Co. subsidiary) is shooting "Iron Man 3."

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Illinois Shooting Contest Raises $50,000 for Conservation

Photo courtesy of Union Sportsmen's Alliance

Illinois union members raised more than $50,000 to support the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA's) conservation mission with their First Annual Illinois Sporting Clays Shoot last weekend at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation in Dundee, Ill. The shooting competition was sponsored by the Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council (CBTC).

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You Can Help NASA Firefighters in Struggle with Security Giant G4S

NASA firefighters and paramedics at Kennedy Space Center in Florida have spent half a century protecting America’s legendary launch site. But now members of the Transport Workers (TWU) in this unique fire department are in the middle of a struggle with one of the world’s largest security corporations that is demanding huge cuts in wages and retirement security. You can help.

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Marketplace Seeking Union Voices in the News

Photo by S. Diddy/Flickr

Do you believe that unions and union members are too often ignored or wrongly portrayed when the media reports on the economy, business and jobs? Now you have the chance to change that and add a union member’s voice and perspective to the news. The folks who produce public radio's Marketplace want to hear from you.

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Workers Honored at Seattle BIT Project

BIT Photo/Flickr

In West Seattle, workers from the unions of the Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) are in the middle of a major green construction project that will convert an area that sat vacant for more than five years into a nearly 200-unit rental property.

The $48 million Youngstown Flats project, funded by the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT), will be completed in the spring and is bringing a big boost to the local economy. Last week, BIT officials and local labor leaders took time off to honor the workers at a ceremony and special luncheon on site for “dedicating their time and skills to making this building project a reality.

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New AFM Site Makes It Easy to Hire Union Musicians

The Porch Dogs, Photo courtesy of AFM

Are you looking for a bluegrass band for your Labor Day picnic? Or maybe you want something a bit funkier for an upcoming wedding and want to make sure you’re buying union?

That’s easy to do now, thanks to a new tool recently launched by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM). AFM Entertainment (click here) lets you search a wide range of genres, from rockabilly to brass quintets to strolling violinists.

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Spence’s Quest for Olympic Gold Falls Short

Errol Spence Jr., America’s top-ranked amateur welterweight and the last member of the U.S. boxing team still in competition at the London Olympics, lost his quarter final bout tonight. Spence is the son of Debra—a member of National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 311 in Dallas—and Errol Spence Sr. Spence had scored victories in his first two bouts.

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Holt Baker Tells Washington State Union Members: ‘We Will Change America’

“Something is changing in America,” AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker told delegates to the Washington State Labor Council’s (WSLC's) convention.

The pieces are coming together and the picture is getting clear. We will change America. But we won’t do it alone. As mighty as our labor movement is—and here in Washington you are a powerful force—we cannot do it alone.

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End of Extended Jobless Benefits Hits More Than 500,000

Photo by Robert Bruce Murray III // Sort Of Natural/Flickr

This month marks the end of the federal extended unemployment insurance benefits program for 35 states with the nation’s highest jobless rates. More than half a million long-term jobless workers have lost their unemployment lifeline. Chad Stone of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) says:

As we’ve explained previously, EB [extended benefits] will no longer be available in any state, not because most states’ economies have improved to anywhere near pre-recession conditions, but because they have not significantly deteriorated in the past three years.

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On Aug. 11, Stand for America and a Second Bill of Rights

On Aug. 11, Stand for America and a Second Bill of Rights

This Saturday, Aug. 11, join thousands of working families who are coming together in Philadelphia in the first major action of the Workers Stand for America campaign, the centerpiece of which is America’s Second Bill of Rights:

  • Full employment and a living wage.
  • Full participation in the political process.
  • A voice at work.
  • A quality education for all.
  • A secure and healthy future.

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