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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.

Washington Mudslide Disaster Relief Fund Established

The United Way of Snohomish County in Washington State, where the Oso mudslide killed at least 24, has established a disaster relief fund for those affected by the landslide. The death toll is expected to rise significantly, according to Gov. Jay Inslee.

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House Dems Move to Force Immigration Vote

House Dems Move to Force Immigration Vote

The House Republicans who claim they support immigration reform now have the opportunity not just to talk the immigration talk but to actually walk the walk.

Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi introduced a discharge petition that, if the handful of Republicans who in the past have said they support immigration reform sign on to, would force an up or down vote on the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last June 68–32. House Republican leaders since then have bottled up the measure.

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Letter Carriers Stand Solidly with Postal Workers Against USPS–Staples Deal

The Letter Carriers (NALC) have joined in the battle by the Postal Workers (APWU) to stop the U.S. Postal Service’s privatization of retail operations by contracting services to Staples with “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than postal employees.

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Free Student Laptops Help Reconnect McDowell

Shentel Communictions photo

Every middle school student in McDowell County, W.Va.—nearly 900—was presented with a new free laptop last week as part of the initiative to improve education in an economically struggling county of underperforming schools, drug and alcohol abuse, housing shortages, limited medical services and inadequate access to technology and transportation. 

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103 Years After Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Many Still Fight Workplace Safety Laws

Today is the 103nd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York's Greenwich Village. The tragedy took the lives of 146 young immigrant garment workers. Most were trapped and died behind the building’s locked doors and others plunged to their deaths as they jumped from windows from the eighth floor and above.

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Tuesday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Tuesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families' news we're reading today (after the jump).

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AFSCME Snowplow Driver Rescues Man from Crashed, Snow-Filled Car

AFSCME  photo

When a winter storm roared through Minnesota last month, snowplow driver Jeff Holte—a member of AFSCME Local 789—was clearing Interstate 94 and spreading sand near Evansville, Minn. But temperatures plummeted and, in a matter of minutes, Holte watched the road go from perfectly safe to a sheet of ice. He also saw a car lose control, roll into a ditch and, with its rear window broken and upside down, slide backward through previously fallen deep snow that nearly filled the car. That’s when he sprang into action.

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On Minimum Wage, DeMint Won’t Debate

On Minimum Wage, DeMint Won’t Debate

There could be all kinds of reasons that Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has declined an invitation from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to join him in a public forum on raising the minimum wage. Here’s what Trumka wrote in a letter to DeMint on March 11.

If you think America's working families need a raise, sign the petition 

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Monday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Monday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families' news we're reading today (after the jump).

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Proposed Silica Standard Needs to Be Strengthened

While the AFL-CIO “strongly supports” a proposed new rule that would limit workers’ exposure to silica dust, AFL-CIO Safety and Health Director Peg Seminario outlined several areas that should be strengthened to provide better worker protection from deadly silicosis and other diseases caused by silica exposure.

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