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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.

Striking Palermo's Workers Ask Costco to Enforce Suppliers Code of Conduct

Laura Torres. Photo ©Wendi Kent used by permission.

Workers at Palermo's Pizza in Milwaukee, Wis., have been on strike for nearly two months in a struggle for justice with one of the largest frozen pizza manufacturers in the nation. You can help the workers—like Laura Torres, a single mother of six who has worked at the Palermo's plant for 10 years—by asking Costco, Palermo’s biggest customer, to urge the pizza maker to respect workers and improve working conditions at the plant.

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Son of Texas Mail Handler Falls Short of Olympic Dream

Errol Spence Jr., the son of Debra—a Dallas, Texas, member of National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 311—lost his 152-pound welterweight bout tonight in round of 16 in boxing competition in Olympic Games in London.

Spence, the top-ranked U.S. amateur in his weight class, lost to Vikas Kisham of India, who was the 2011 World Amateur bronze medalist. Click here for more on Spence.  

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Fish, Chips and Solidarity

Photo by L.Richarz/Flickr

Looking for a little taste of England as you settle in for a weekend of the Olympic Games? How about some fish and chips—union made? Our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, have compiled a list so you can have this classic fare with a side of solidarity.

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AFGE, TSA Reach First-Ever Contract for Airport Screeners

AFGE, TSA Reach First-Ever Contract for Airport Screeners

In 2003, as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at several airports were readying to vote on joining AFGE, the Bush administration, citing so-called “national security” concerns, terminated the screeners’ collective bargaining rights.

Today, after a nearly 10-year battle, AFGE and the TSA have reached their first-ever labor contract and it covers the TSA’s 45,000 workers.

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Affordable Care Act is First Step Toward Health Care for All

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional “is only beginning of the next phase of health care reform,” said the AFL-CIO Executive Council in a statement from its August meeting in Washington, D.C., this week.

The path forward should be clear: First, we must move full speed ahead to implement the ACA; second, we must firmly reject efforts to undo the progress that already has been made with the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare; and third, we must build upon the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare to achieve our goal of quality health care for all.

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AFL-CIO Executive Council: Shared Prosperity Dependent on Collective Bargaining

The AFL-CIO Executive Council endorsed Yale Professor Jacob Hacker’s just released economic blueprint, Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All, that says restoring the middle class must include restoring workers’ ability to bargain collectively.

The agenda for shared prosperity builds upon an understanding of the central role of workers, their unions and collective bargaining to address the full range of our society’s economic ills—our jobs and infrastructure deficits, our housing crisis, the hollowing out of our manufacturing sector, the disconnect between wages and productivity, the health care and retirement security crisis and the particular toll that these crises have taken on communities of color and women.

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Republican Ransom Demand: Tax Cuts for Wealthy and Cuts for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

"Republicans are holding the middle class hostage to their demands on behalf of the richest 2 percent of Americans,” said the AFL-CIO Executive Council in a statement from its August meeting in Washington, D.C., this week. And, the council emphasized:

There can be no excuse for giving in to their demands to extend tax cuts for the 2 percent; cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits; tax workers’ health benefits; or sacrifice middle-class jobs.

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Romney Business Model and Economic Policy: Blueprint for Weak and Unjust Economy

The business model on which Mitt Romney built his private-equity, outsourcing career and fortune at  Bain Capital “has made our economy weaker and our society more unequal; it has hollowed out our tax base, and it has wreaked havoc on our communities,” said the AFL-CIO Executive Council in a statement from its August meeting this week in Washington, D.C.

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House Republicans Vote to Keep Bush Tax Cuts for the Richest 2%

In a reverse of last week’s Senate action, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved (256-171) a bill (H.R. 8) to extend the Bush tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest 2%— about $160,000 a year for the average millionaire. The House defeated (257-170) a Democratic alternative amendment to maintain the cuts for the middle class but end the tax breaks for the rich.

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Laborers’ Honored as Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator

LIUNA photo

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act and at a ceremony marking the historic job training act, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis honored the Laborers’ (LIUNA)  apprenticeship programs with a 21st Century Trailblazer and Innovator award. Solis said the LIUNA program and other award winners were honored for their “long-standing success and innovative approaches” to training U.S. workers.

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