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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.

Judge Rules Against Portions of Walker’s Anti-Worker Law

This afternoon a federal judge in Wisconsin struck down two parts of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011 anti-worker law that eliminated collective bargaining rights for public workers.

U.S. District Court Judge William Conley ruled against the provision that eliminated payroll deduction for public-sector workers' union dues. He also ruled against the section that required unions to win 51 percent support of all employees in units they are certified to represent during annual recertification votes, instead of the majority of employees who voted. Under the requirement of Walker's law, all those who did not vote were to be counted as "no" votes. 

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SAG/AFTRA Members Vote to Merge

Members of the Screen Actors (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) have overwhelmingly approved merging their unions into one, SAG/AFTRA, the unions announced this afternoon in Los Angeles.

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Pomona College Workers Take Protest and ‘Dining Hall’ to the Streets

This afternoon on César Chávez day, Pomona College (Calif.) students, workers and union and community activists are taking to the streets in a unique Dining Hall in the Streets action. The event will support the 16 immigrant workers the college fired in December from their long-held dining hall jobs as they were trying to form a union with UNITE HERE Local 11.

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Tell Romney to Fire His NLRB Mole

The scandal at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) involving Mitt Romney’s labor adviser, former NLRB member Peter Schaumber, and current NLRB member Terence Flynn gives Romney a great chance to show whether he values ethics in government or dirty, inside-Washington politics.  

If you want to help Romney decide to do the right thing, click here to sign a petition calling on him to fire Schaumber and renounce the ethics violations.

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Romney-Backed Ryan Budget for the 1% Passes House

Romney-Backed Ryan Budget for the 1% Passes House

In a strictly partisan vote this afternoon, House Republicans passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget-for-the1% plan. The 228-191 vote didn’t draw a single Democrat. While the proposal has no chance of passing in the Senate, it serves as a stark example of Republican priorities, including those of presidential candidate Mitt Romney who has endorsed Ryan’s plan.

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Massey Official Pleads Guilty in Upper Big Branch Case

A former superintendent at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine, where 29 miners were killed in an April 2010 explosion, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws. He faces up to five years in prison.

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House Leaders Duck Long-Term Solution, OK Temporary Transportation Funding

Instead of acting on a long-term, bipartisan surface transportation bill, House Republican leaders today pushed and passed another short-term extension, just hours before they are due to leave town on a two-week recess. Funding authorization expires Saturday, and the Senate is expected to approve the 90-day extension.

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Harkin’s Rebuild America Act Builds Economy for 99%

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) today introduced the Rebuild America Act. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the bill would "achieve shared prosperity by putting America back to work, rebuilding our infrastructure, repairing our safety net and insisting that shared sacrifice start at the top—with Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans."

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New Co-Op Model for Sustainable Main Street Jobs

The United Steelworkers (USW), the Spanish worker cooperative Mondragon—the world’s largest worker cooperative—and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) this week unveiled what they describe as a “template that combines worker equity with a progressive collective bargaining process.” USW President Leo Gerard says that “to survive the boom and bust, bubble-driven economic cycles fueled by Wall Street, we must look for new ways to create and sustain good jobs on Main Street.”

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Romney Finds Soul Mate in Walker’s Assault on Workers’ Retirement Security

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today praised Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attack on public employees’ collective bargaining rights and singled out Walker’s assault on workers’ retirement security. In an expected move, Romney endorsed Walker in the upcoming recall election.

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