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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.

Unions, Others React to Court Upholding Health Care Reform

Here’s a look at other reactions to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement to purchase health insurance.


At a time when so many Americans are struggling to get by and students continue to graduate from college with a mountain of debt and few job prospects, this law puts health care within reach for working families, keeps our communities healthier and ensures that Americans can get the treatment they need, when they need it, without battling big insurance companies. We need to work together to build upon the success of the Affordable Care Act, not prolong partisan attempts to tear it apart.

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Made in America: Take a Union-Made Vacation

Make sure your summer vacation is Made in America.


This week, leading up to July 4, we're highlighting American products, jobs and stories for our Made in America series. What are your favorite Made in America products? Please comment and share your ideas.

What could be more “Made in America” than a good old USA summer vacation that’s union-made, too? Here are some travel tips from Union Plus. If you are headed for a major theme park, many are staffed by union members, including the 36,000 union workers from 18 unions at the Disney Parks in Anaheim, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. On top of that, several offer discounts through Union Plus, click here.

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Second Season of ‘Brotherhood Outdoors’ Premieres with IBEW Member’s Elk Hunt

Tom Ackerman, Scott Callaghan, Union Sportsman photo

The second season of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA's) “Brotherhood Outdoors,” a unique hunting and fishing series that showcases the talents and passions of union members, kicks off at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursdays, starting June 28, exclusively on the Sportsman Channel.

In the season premier, Scott Callaghan, an Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 member from Annapolis, Md., who served two tours of duty with the Marine Corps in the Middle East, joins host Tom Ackerman in the mountains of south central Montana to fulfill his dream of hunting America’s iconic bull elk east. 

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More St. Louis Nurses Vote for NNU

Registered nurses at Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis voted by a 2-to-1 margin to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Missouri (NNOC-Missouri), an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU). The Des Peres nurses are the second unit of nurses at a St. Louis Tenet Healthcare hospital to vote NNOC-Missouri this month, joining 600 nurses at Saint Louis University Hospital who chose the union.

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In ‘Travesty of Justice,’ Judge Blocks American Airlines Workers’ Union Election

A federal judge’s ruling permanently blocking 10,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines from voting on joining a union is a “disgrace and a travesty of justice,” says the Communications Workers of America (CWA). CWA Organizing Director Sandy Rusher says:   

Here in America, we're taught to respect democracy and our right to vote. Sadly, the court's decision today is an attack on the rights of these average Americans, agents who just want the opportunity to participate in a democratic election.

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Court Strikes Down Parts of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law, but Not Racial Profiling Provision

In a strongly worded 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected most of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law known as S.B. 1070. But the justices upheld a key portion that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), say is:

The law’s most dangerous provision, which gave the green light to discrimination and racial profiling. 

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Two Bills Would Help Bring Jobs Home

Bring Jobs Home

“We need to be exporting our products, not our jobs,” says Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) who, with Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), recently introduced the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2884 and H.R. 5542). Union and community activists are building support for that bill, as well as the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3596), as part of the AFL-CIO’s Bring Jobs Home campaign.

Text JOBS to 235246 to get info and action alerts to help bring America's jobs home. (Message and data rates may apply.)

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78 Earn College Degrees, Graduate at National Labor College

Image courtesy of Bill Burke/Page One

Mark King considers the bachelor’s degree in labor studies that he received Saturday at the National Labor College’s (NLC's) class of 2012 commencement as his “keys to the kingdom.”

King, a New Hampshire school librarian and AFT member, was one of 78 graduates from 25 unions and the AFL-CIO community affiliate, Working America, who received degrees at the Silver Spring campus. He was elected class speaker of the NLC’s 14th graduating class by his peers.

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OSHA Acts to Protect Fracking Workers from Silica Exposure

OSHA Acts to Protect Fracking Workers from Silica Exposure

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued a hazard alert that urges employers in hydraulic fracturing operations to take appropriate steps to protect workers from silica exposure. Last month, in response to findings reported by NIOSH that workers in fracking operations were exposed to silica levels well in excess of OSHA permissible and NIOSH recommended levels, the AFL-CIO, Mine Workers (UMWA) and the United Steelworkers (USW) sent a letter to the federal workplace safety agencies urging they act to protect workers in these operations.  

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AFL-CIO Kicks Off ‘Bring Jobs Home' Campaign

It's Time to Bring Jobs Home:

In the past decade, 50,000 manufacturing sites closed and 6 million American jobs were lost because of outsourcing. Today, the AFL-CIO union movement launches the first of several nationwide Bring Jobs Home events, with an action near Master Lock's flagship factory in Milwaukee, Wis., which has been producing the iconic padlocks since 1921.

Last year, under a new contract between UAW Local 469 and Master Lock, the company brought jobs back from China—a move union members at Master Lock and around the country would like to see become a trend in American manufacturing.

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