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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.

House Republicans Take Off for the Holidays, Shaft Jobless Workers

Fearing they didn’t have the votes to defeat a bipartisan Senate compromise that would extend unemployment insurance (UI) for long-term jobless workers and a payroll tax cut for workers, Republican House leaders scuttled a vote on the bill today. Then they left town for the holidays.  Both the UI program and the tax cut expire Dec. 31.

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Nurses Charge Equity Firm with Putting Profits Over Patient Care

On New York City’s Park Avenue today, hundreds of nurses from National Nurses United (NNU) and their supporters rallied outside the offices of Cerberus Capital Management to protest the practices of the multi-billion dollar private equity firm’s health care unit, Steward Health Care System.

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Video, Website Highlight AFSCME’s 75th Anniversary

AFSCME is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a special website, a brand new video on the union’s history and a yearlong series of events.

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Act Now: Tell House Republicans to Stop Holding Jobless Hostage

UPDATE: The Republican-controlled House Rules Committee early Tuesday morning voted to block a full House vote on the bipartisan Senate compromise that extends unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for the long-term jobless. The current program expires Dec. 31.

House Republicans tonight are expected to reject a bipartisan Senate compromise that extends unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for the long-term jobless and also extends the payroll tax cut for workers and employers. Without House approval, the UI benefits and tax cut expire Dec. 31.

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Lawmakers urge Criminal Charges in Upper Big Branch Disaster

The Department of Justice must “go up Massey’s chain of command as far as possible” and hold accountable those individuals responsible for the deaths of 29 coals miners at Massey Energy’s Big Branch (W.Va.) mine in 2010, a group of lawmakers urged Attorney General Eric Holder.

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Workers Offer Indiana Right to Work Scrooge a Holiday Song


Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) may be trying to deliver lumps of coal to Hoosier workers with so-called right to work legislation, but that didn’t discourage a chorus of worker carolers from offering Bosma a gift, along with a song of holiday cheer.

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Hillman Foundation Honors Reporter on Penn State Scandal

Sara Ganim, a 24-year-old crime reporter with the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., won the December Sidney award for her series of investigations exposing the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

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Holiday Gifts for the Activists on Your List

Most of us still have some holiday shopping to do and here are a few suggestions that can keep you out of the lines at the malls and big-box stores and warm the heart of any good trade unionist or progressive on your list.

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Court Upholds Fair Election Rule for Air and Rail Workers

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., today upheld the new democratic union election rule for aviation and rail workers issued by the National Mediation Board (NMBM) in 2010.

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Cilento Elected New York State Fed President

Mario Cilento was elected president of the 2.5 million-member New York State AFL-CIO today by the state federation’s executive council. He succeeds Denis M. Hughes who is retiring and served as president since 1999.

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