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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 Action Boosts Chance for Long-Term Highway Bill

The U.S. House yesterday removed a major roadblock to a long-term reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act when it approved (293-127) funding for highways, roads, bridges and transit systems through Sept. 30.

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Scott Walker’s No Abe Lincoln

Scott Walker’s No Abe Lincoln

In a speech yesterday to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, saying he possessed the same type of “courage” as Lincoln did “to move the state forward.” Labor historian Larry Spivack says even today, Lincoln would take exception to the comparison.

History suggests the capital city’s most famous son might be tumbling in his tomb.

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Public Investment Best Engine for Economic Growth

The surest route to returning to the productivity, economic growth and employment the United States experienced in the post-World War II era and again in the late 1990s requires a substantial increase in public investments, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds.

But the biggest obstacle facing any significant boost to public investments, writes EPI Economist Josh Bivens is “how myopic the economic debate about budget deficits has become in the United States.”

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ALEC Disbands Key Task Force as More Corporations Sever Ties

The extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has announced it is disbanding its task force that developed and pushed the rash of voter suppression and “stand your ground ” laws passed in recent  years by Republican-controlled state legislatures. But don't believe that ALEC is backing off its attacks on workers, their wages and their unions. Meanwhile, the group continues to lose key members, with two more major companies severing ties with the right-wing group

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Tax Day Actions Demand 1% and Corporations Pay Their Fair Share

Tax day demonstration in Ames, Iowa

In “Tax Wealth Not Work,” Tax Day actions around the nation today, activists from the AFL-CIO, Working America, Move On and other unions and progressive groups of the 99% Spring coalition demanded that the 1% and corporations pay their fair share.

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Act Now to Stop Attack on Fair Union Election Rule

Congressional Republicans—backed by their corporate sponsors—are trying to ram through a resolution that would kill a new fair union election rule approved last year by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Click here to send a message to your senators and urge them to vote “NO” on S.J. Res. 36 when it comes to a vote later this week.

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Students Win as Cleveland Teachers, Mayor Find Common Ground

Earlier this year, it looked like a battle was brewing between Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Teachers Union (CTU). Jackson’s school reform plan would have eliminated collective bargaining and a number of other workplace provisions for teachers. But CTU leaders, Jackson and other education advocates worked together to find common ground and to keep their focus on the kids.

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Republicans Block Buffett Fair Share Tax Rule

It pays to have friends in high places, especially at tax time. It paid well today for the wealthy when their close Republican U.S. Senate friends blocked action on the “Buffett Rule.” The simple piece of tax legislation would require millionaires and billionaires to pay at the same tax rate most of us do.

The bill, known as the “Paying a Fair Share Act” (S.2230) failed (51-45) to get the 60 votes needed for passage. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas were the only politicians to cross party lines.

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Join Tax Day Actions: Demand Corporations and Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share

Photo by Pameladrew212/Flickr

Are you tired of the 1 percent and big corporations gaming the tax system and loopholing their way to a tax bite that’s lower than what most of us honest working people pay? Take action on Tax Day tomorrow by joining working families and community, faith and other activists to demand that the 1% and corporations pay their fair share. Click here to find a Tax Day action near you.

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McGarvey Elected Building Trades President

McGarvey Elected Building Trades President

Sean McGarvey, who has served as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) since 2005, was elected president today by the BCTD’s Governing Board of Presidents. He succeeds Mark H. Ayers who died April 8.

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