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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.

Trumka: Time to Abolish ‘Undemocratic’ Fast Track Process

In a hearing on U.S. trade policy Tuesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told the Senate Finance Committee, “We don’t believe we can build strong and sustainable economic growth on a foundation of stagnant wages and disempowered workers.”

And a key component of a raising wages economy is a new approach to trade and globalization—one that puts good jobs, safe products and a clean environment at the center of global economic integration—not enhanced corporate power and profits.

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Rana Plaza, 2 Years Later: Garment Workers Under Siege

Solidarity Center photo

April 24 is the two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,130 garment workers. The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center’s Tula Connell reports that in the months after the 2013 tragedy, global outrage spurred much-needed changes, including the closing of dozens of unsafe factories, the adoption of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and, most significantly, the formation and recognition of workers’ unions by the Bangladeshi government.

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20 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing, Words Still Matter

Public domain photo by Staff Sergeant Mark A. More - DefenseImagery.mil

Sunday, April 19, was the 20th anniversary of the horrific bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building that claimed the lives of 186 people, including 99 government workers. In a column on The Huffington Post, AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. writes:

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Hyundai Supplier Hit with Federal Restraining Order over Firing, Harassing Safety Whistle-Blowers

A federal judge in Alabama issued a temporary restraining order Thursday against auto parts manufacturer Lear Corp.—a major supplier to Hyundai—that the U.S. Department of Labor charges fired one worker and sued her and harassed others for speaking out about safety concerns at the Selma, Ala., plant. 

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Fast Track Bill Introduced—Join the Drive to Stop Fast Track

Legislation granting Fast Track trade authority to President Barack Obama was introduced in the Senate today. In a statement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

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Join Saturday’s National Day to Stop Fast Track

Working families across the country will be out in the streets on Saturday, April 18, to tell their members of Congress to oppose Fast Track legislation that is expected to be introduced as soon as today. Saturday’s action follows a big Capitol Hilly rally Wednesday where a coalition of union, environmental, consumer, faith, farm, business and good governance organizations urged a “No” vote on Fast Track.

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Walmart, Fast-Food Workers Lead Nationwide Fight for $15 Strike

Walmart, Fast-Food Workers Lead Nationwide Fight for $15 Strike

Today, tens of thousands of Walmart workers, fast-food, retail and other low-wage workers are engaged in a massive, nationwide strike in their fight for $15 an hour, consistent full-time hours and the right to join a union.

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Bill Would Make 9/11 Survivors' Health Care Program Permanent

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with Sept. 11 first responders and union leaders, today announced the introduction of legislation to make permanent the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The act makes critical health care available to first responders and workers suffering illnesses from the toxic stew at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed.

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On Equal Pay Day, Mind the Gap, All $431,000 of It

On Equal Pay Day, Mind the Gap, All $431,000 of It

Today, Equal Pay Day, marks the day when women workers close the 2014 pay gap, and that wage gap is huge. Women, on average, earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to men’s wages and that adds up to more than $10,800 a year and more than $400,000 over a career. 

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You Want to Hear the Band? Pay Them

Photo courtesy of StudioHole Recordings

When you hear a song on an AM/FM radio in your car or the radio in your garage or workout room, you probably figure the folks who made that music are getting paid. But the men and women doing the singing and playing do not see a penny of royalties for the hits they made. A new bill introduced in Congress today would pay the band.

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