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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.

Raise the Wage and Hip Hop to It!

In the campaign to raise wages, including the minimum wage, we’ve brought you stories of workers struggling to get by but who still have the time and commitment to join in demonstrations, strikes and actions. We’ve presented studies by academics and economists that show raising workers’ wages doesn’t cost jobs but instead boosts the entire economy. Now, actor and comedian Damian Washington gives us a hip-hop jam on why we need to Raise the Wage! Give a look and listen.

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Economy Adds 257,000 Jobs in January

Economy Adds 257,000 Jobs in January

The economy added 257,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate ticked slightly up to 5.7% from December’s 5.6%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Happy Birthday, FMLA. Now Let’s Go for Paid Leave

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that allows workers to take unpaid leave to care for an ill family member or themselves without fear of losing their jobs or health insurance.

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If Walmart’s Anti-Retaliation Policy Is True, Tell Walmart to Discipline Managers Who Target Workers for Speaking Out

If Walmart’s Anti-Retaliation Policy Is True, Tell Walmart to Discipline Managers Who Target Workers for Speaking Out

Our Walmart members launched a campaign Wednesday calling on Walmart to uphold its publicly stated anti-retaliation policy against workers who speak out for change, better pay and full-time hours. Our Walmart says that many Walmart managers have been illegally spying on, disciplining and even firing workers who spoke out during demonstrations and Black Friday protests and strikes.

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USW Oil Workers Strike After Shell Leaves Talks

Some 3,800 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) are on strike at nine refineries operated by Shell, Marathon, Tesoro and LyondellBasell after Shell, the lead company in the National Oil Bargaining talks, “refused to provide us with a counteroffer and left the bargaining table,” says USW President Leo W. Gerard.

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NFL Players Association: A Sustained Drive for Players' Rights

More than 100 million people in the United States, and millions more worldwide, will watch today’s Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.  While we will be gathered in living rooms and bars surrounded by our favorite game food and beverages, the Seahawks and Patriots players will be on the job in a workplace covered by a strong collective bargaining agreement that guarantees workers’ rights, protections and benefits. But as this new video from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) shows, it didn’t come easy.

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New Jersey Union Sportsmen Build Bird Condos

Donald Mullins, a member of Insulators Local 14, displays a newly built pheasant transport box.

As part of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance's Work Boots on the Ground project, New Jersey union members built and painted 52 pheasant and 10 quail transport boxes to support the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which raises and releases some 50,000 pheasants and 11,000 quail annually across the state.

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McCain Fails to Move Jones Act Repeal

This Jones Act tanker was built by U.S. workers at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego and launched in 2004. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics NASSCO

A move by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to scuttle the nation’s key maritime law—the Jones Act—which put in jeopardy 400,000 shipbuilding, seafaring and supply chain jobs in the maritime industry, has failed.

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California Nurses Ratify New Pact with Kaiser Permanente

CNA photo

California registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), who work at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics in northern and central California voted overwhelmingly (93%) to ratify a new three-year contract reached last week. The agreement covers 18,000 RNs and will give them a stronger voice on patient care and provide breakthrough improvements in workplace protections along with economic gains.

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Help Pick the Winner in IBEW Photo Contest

Help Pick the Winner in IBEW Photo Contest

The 15 finalists in the Electrical Workers (IBEW) annual photo contest have been selected, and you can choose who takes home the top honors. The photos, shot by IBEW linemen, electricians, railroad workers and more, often take place amid stunning natural beauty and eye-catching situations.

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