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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.

Remember the Triangle Fire Victims

Remember the Triangle Fire Victims

March 25 is the 101st anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City, which killed 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women. Many of them jumped to their deaths from the 10-story factory to escape the fire because they were locked inside. While the Triangle fire is a prominent part of labor history, not just for its tragedy but as the impetus for new labor laws and workplace safety reforms, there is no permanent memorial.

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IAFF Blasts Romney’s Record on Fire Safety

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a long record of opposing critical public safety programs and training for firefighters, including Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grants.

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‘More Please, Sir;’ New Corporate Blitz Begs for Tax Cuts

Those poor, misunderstood big corporations. No one seems to know or care what a burden taxes are on those cash-stuffed companies—like General Electric, which paid no federal income taxes in 2010. To make sure we all know, the Business Roundtable just launched a lobbying and ad blitz to push for even bigger tax breaks than corporations now receive.

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Home Care Workers Need Labor Law’s Protection

The nearly 2 million home care workers—about 92 percent of whom are women—who take care of the elderly and people with disabilities often work 12-hour days and 60 to 70 hours a week. But they are seldom paid overtime and their net income is often less than the minimum wage. Unlike workers covered by federal labor laws, they are not paid for all the hours they are on the clock, witnesses told a U.S. House hearing Tuesday.

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JOBS-Killing Bill Advances in Senate

The Senate failed today to pass a set of amendments to the cynically named JOBS Act, which will do little to create jobs but will deregulate Wall Street and weaken the Wall Street reform measures enacted after the financial industry’s take-down of the economy.

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Republican Budget: ‘Of, By and For the 1%’

The House Republican budget, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R- Wis.) and unveiled today, provides a blueprint of what America would like look under Republican control, “a government of, by and for the 1%,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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National Day of Action Supports Verizon Workers

National Day of Action Supports Verizon Workers

Join thousands of union members and community partners in a National Day of Action for Verizon workers who are trying to win a fair contract. Click here to find an event near you to support the 45,000 Verizon workers, who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW).

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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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