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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.

In ‘Travesty of Justice,’ Judge Blocks American Airlines Workers’ Union Election

A federal judge’s ruling permanently blocking 10,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines from voting on joining a union is a “disgrace and a travesty of justice,” says the Communications Workers of America (CWA). CWA Organizing Director Sandy Rusher says:   

Here in America, we're taught to respect democracy and our right to vote. Sadly, the court's decision today is an attack on the rights of these average Americans, agents who just want the opportunity to participate in a democratic election.

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Court Strikes Down Parts of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law, but Not Racial Profiling Provision

In a strongly worded 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected most of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law known as S.B. 1070. But the justices upheld a key portion that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), say is:

The law’s most dangerous provision, which gave the green light to discrimination and racial profiling. 

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Two Bills Would Help Bring Jobs Home

Bring Jobs Home

“We need to be exporting our products, not our jobs,” says Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) who, with Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), recently introduced the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2884 and H.R. 5542). Union and community activists are building support for that bill, as well as the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3596), as part of the AFL-CIO’s Bring Jobs Home campaign.

Text JOBS to 235246 to get info and action alerts to help bring America's jobs home. (Message and data rates may apply.)

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78 Earn College Degrees, Graduate at National Labor College

Image courtesy of Bill Burke/Page One

Mark King considers the bachelor’s degree in labor studies that he received Saturday at the National Labor College’s (NLC's) class of 2012 commencement as his “keys to the kingdom.”

King, a New Hampshire school librarian and AFT member, was one of 78 graduates from 25 unions and the AFL-CIO community affiliate, Working America, who received degrees at the Silver Spring campus. He was elected class speaker of the NLC’s 14th graduating class by his peers.

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OSHA Acts to Protect Fracking Workers from Silica Exposure

OSHA Acts to Protect Fracking Workers from Silica Exposure

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued a hazard alert that urges employers in hydraulic fracturing operations to take appropriate steps to protect workers from silica exposure. Last month, in response to findings reported by NIOSH that workers in fracking operations were exposed to silica levels well in excess of OSHA permissible and NIOSH recommended levels, the AFL-CIO, Mine Workers (UMWA) and the United Steelworkers (USW) sent a letter to the federal workplace safety agencies urging they act to protect workers in these operations.  

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AFL-CIO Kicks Off ‘Bring Jobs Home' Campaign

It's Time to Bring Jobs Home:

In the past decade, 50,000 manufacturing sites closed and 6 million American jobs were lost because of outsourcing. Today, the AFL-CIO union movement launches the first of several nationwide Bring Jobs Home events, with an action near Master Lock's flagship factory in Milwaukee, Wis., which has been producing the iconic padlocks since 1921.

Last year, under a new contract between UAW Local 469 and Master Lock, the company brought jobs back from China—a move union members at Master Lock and around the country would like to see become a trend in American manufacturing.

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Verizon Day of Action for Fair Contract Aims at Company’s Board

Photo credit: CWA

Today, at more than 300 events around the country, activists from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), other AFL-CIO unions, Jobs with Justice (JwJ), 99% Power coalition and other allies are mobilized for a National Day of Action for a fair contract for 45,000 Verizon workers who are members of CWA and the Electrical Workers (IBEW).    

Verizon is a $100 billion company that has made tens of billions in profits, yet is demanding $10,000 a year from each worker in compensation cuts. At the same time, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam got a 200 percent raise from $7.2 million to $23.1 million, courtesy of the communication giant’s board of directors.

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Music, Art, Comedy, Organizing Come Together at Great Labor Arts Exchange

Music, Art, Comedy, Organizing Come Together at Great Labor Arts Exchange

The 34th Annual Great Labor Arts Exchange and Conference on Creative Organizing kicks off today and runs through Monday at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, Md. Sponsored by the Labor Heritage Foundation, the Great Labor Arts Exchange celebrates the rich cultural heritage of working people and brings together talented labor artists, activists, cultural workers, educators and students.

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Financial Experts Urge Global Leaders to Adopt Financial Transaction Tax

A group of 50 financial professionals—investors, traders, academics and banking executives—urged G-20 and European leaders to back small financial transaction taxes (FTTs) on financial industry speculation.    

In a letter to world leaders, the group notes that FTTs “have a proven track record” and would help rebalance financial markets away from “a short-term trading mentality that has contributed to instability in our financial markets.” It also says FTTs have the potential to raise significant revenue.

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DREAMers Celebrate Win, Vow Continued Action for Immigration Reform

Courtesy of the United We Dream Facebook Page (Jose Antonio Vargas)

Clad in graduation robes and mortarboards, dozens of young “DREAMers,” who no longer face deportation, celebrated President Obama’s action last week that will allow them to remain in the nation in which they grew up. Welcoming the young students from the United We Dream coalition to AFL-CIO headquarters this afternoon, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

In this house, we’re not divided as immigrants or native-born. We are united by our vision and values—our vision of an America where hard work is fairly rewarded.

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