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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.

AFT’s Weingarten Calls for ‘Solution-Driven Unionism’

America’s unions need to focus on “solution-driven unionism,” that advances solutions centered on uniting union members, the people they serve and the communities in which they live, AFT President Randi Weingarten told delegates at AFT’s convention in Detroit today.

More than ever, we need to act in innovative, creative and new ways—simultaneously refuting our critics, advancing our values, connecting with community and proposing solutions. That’s solution-driven unionism.

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Overtime Wage Theft Complaints Soar

Illustration by Arenamontanus/Flickr

Not only are corporations sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash and refusing to hire workers, now it appears employers who are making fewer workers do even more aren’t paying their overtime wages. The number of overtime wage theft complaints, filed by workers in the first half of this year, matches last year’s total filed under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to a new report.

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Connect with New ‘Work Connects Us All’ T-Shirt

Connect with New ‘Work Connects Us All’ T-Shirt

Connect with your friends and co-workers with our new union-made in the USA “Work Connects Us All” T-shirt. It’s a bargain, too, at just $8.50 for most sizes. Just visit the AFL-CIO Online Store—Union Made.TM

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Alliance Launches ‘Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire' Campaign

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are under attack by Republican lawmakers. Whether it is the Romney/Ryan budget that would end Medicare as we know it or proposals to privatize and cut Social Security, members of the Alliance for Retired Americans are pushing back and mobilizing with new “Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire” campaign. Actions across the country will coincide with Medicare’s and Medicaid’s 47th anniversary July 30 and Social Security’s 77th on Aug. 14.

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Readers Slam Caterpillars’ Greed, 6-Year Worker Wage Freeze

Photo by peoplesworld/Flickr

On Wednesday, we asked you to tell us what you think about Caterpillar, which made $4.9 billion in profits last year, demanding the nearly 800 workers accept a six-year wage freeze, doubled health care premiums and cuts to pensions. The workers, members of Machinists (IAM) Local 851, said “NO!” and have been on strike for more than three months. On the blog and through Facebook some 200 of our readers left comments. Here’s a sample of what you told us:

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July 31 Is Deadline for 2012 Edna Award Nominations

Less than a week remains before the deadline—July 31—to submit nominations for the 2012 Edna, a $10,000 award for young women making a mark in labor, women’s and other social justice movements.

The award honors Edna Berger, a pioneer for women’s rights who rose from a receptionist at The Philadelphia Inquirer to become a writer, editor and the first female organizer in The Newspaper Guild-CWA.

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More Than 400K Philadelphia Voters Fail to Meet Voter ID Requirements

While Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law is under federal investigation and on trial in a state court, new figures show that more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians might not have the photo identification necessary to vote this November, including 43 percent (437,000) of Philadelphia’s voters.

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Senate OKs End of Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy, but House Will Block

The U.S. Senate today voted 51-48 to end the Bush tax cuts for the nation’s richest 2% and maintain the cuts for middle-class families. Also, by a 45-54 margin, lawmakers defeated a Republican bill that continued the tax breaks for the wealthy. However, today’s action was largely symbolic as the Republican-controlled House will not take up the Senate bill that ends the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy. But it's certainly further evidence about whose side congressional Republicans are on.

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Catastrophic Events Even Riskier with Manufacturing’s Decline

Photo by USACEpublic affairs/Flickr

Whether it's a Katrina-like hurricane, major earthquake or devastating terrorist attack, the decline in America’s industrial manufacturing base and the nation’s reliance on foreign suppliers for goods formerly made in the U.S.A. threatens our ability to prevent, repair and recover from a major catastrophe, a new report reveals.

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Republicans Seek to ‘Strengthen’ Labor Law

Photo by jackace/Flickr

OMG, look up! Is that a flying pig? That was my thought when I read the latest bulletin from the Republican-controlled House Education and Workforce Committee announcing a hearing that would be “Examining Proposals to Strengthen the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).”

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