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AFL-CIO Now

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.

Affordable Care Act Helps Millions in First Two Years

Friday marks the second anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the Affordable Care Act into law. Among other accomplishments, health care reform has helped America's families cover 2.5 million of their young adult children, saved 5.1 million Medicare (seniors and disabled) recipients $3.2 billion in drug costs and so far has generated about $323 million in health insurance premium rebates to consumers from insurers.

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St. Patrick Goes After Verizon’s Snakes

St. Patrick is known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. This St. Patrick’s Day, he tried to drive the snakes out of Verizon.

Chanting “Good jobs for Boston,” about two dozen young members of the Greater Boston Labor Council’s (GBLC) Futures Committee staged a quick in-and-out march through a Boston Verizon Wireless store on St. Patrick’s Day. See the video.

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Union Members Help Kids Learn and Grow in W.Va. and Calif.

If you’re a regular reader of our AFL-CIO Now news blog, you may come to our site without stopping first at the AFL-CIO home page here. If you haven’t been there recently, you’ve missed a couple of additions and new features on how unions and union members are connecting with communities.

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Walker’s Job Growth Claims Debunked—Again

A little more than a year ago, under the guise of wrestling with state fiscal challenges, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his Republican allies in the state legislature launched an all-out attack on public-sector workers, claiming teachers, nurses, firefighters and snow plow drivers were the cause of the state’s financial problems and were impeding job growth. Doug Hall, an economist for the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), looks at the state's job figures and separates Walker's fiction from the facts. 

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USW Backs Arena Football Players

The Arena Football League Players Union (AFLPU) has a new teammate--the United Steelworkers (USW), which announced Friday that it will provide key assistance to the AFLPU’s drive to negotiate a fair labor agreement with team owners.

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Sutter Nurses Vote to Join CNA/NNU for Better Patient Care

Registered nurses at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital in Northern California this week voted to join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU). The more than 150 nurses say they faced an aggressive anti-union campaign of surveillance and harassment. But according to many nurses who voted to join CNA/NNU, those tactics backfired, underscoring the need for union representation.

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Postal Unions Fight Closures and Job Loss

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced it would shut more than half its mail processing plants and about 3,600 post offices, costing as many as 100,000 jobs. It also is proposing to end Saturday mail delivery. As the postal unions work to persuade Congress to act, the Postal Workers (APWU) union also is reaching out to the public to build support.

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Republicans Want to Silence Safety Whistle-Blowers

Want more proof what side most Republican lawmakers stand on when it comes to workplace safety? When it comes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) budget, they seem to be saying that it’s more important to let employers voluntarily police themselves and enforce workplace safety standards than it is to give workers protection when they blow the whistle on unsafe practices.

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Housekeepers Reveal Hyatt's 'Dirty Laundry'

Housekeepers at Hyatt Hotels shined a spotlight on what they say are unsafe and demeaning working conditions when they held rallies outside Hyatt properties—including this "Dirty Laundry Fashion Show" in Hawaii—as part of International Women’s Day observances. The video is fun.

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AFL-CIO Council: Organizing, Bargaining Key to Reversing Inequality

Inequality in both wealth and income is greater than at any time since the early part of the last century. At the same time, says the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the best remedy to inequality and injustice—collective bargaining—is under increasing political attack in the private and public sectors. But workers across the country are fighting for their right to join a union.   

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