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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.

Strong Contracts Boost UAW Membership

Photo courtesy of General Motors

As a result of strong collective bargaining agreements in a rebounding auto industry, the number of UAW-represented workers has grown for five straight years, with the latest government figures showing an increase to 403,466 in 2014, compared to 391,415 in 2013. Said UAW President Dennis Williams:

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Made in America: Union-Made Easter and Passover

Made in America: Union-Made Easter and Passover

Passover begins today and runs through April 10, and Easter is Sunday. Here’s a list of union-made in America treats to fill an Easter basket and other holiday accoutrements and some union-made in America recipe ingredients and drinks you may want to include in your seder and throughout Passover brought to you by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411.

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AFL-CIO Backs Baja Farm Workers’ Rights

The AFL-CIO has urged the Mexican government to ensure that the rights of some 80,000 agricultural workers in Baja California—including tens of thousands who have been on strike in the San Quintin Valley—are protected.

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Study Finds Union Mines Safer, More Productive Than Nonunion

UMWA photo

Once again, a study has shown that unionized coal mines are not only safer places to work than nonunion mines, but that union miners produce more coal. The study, by SNL Energy, found that in 2013 unionized mines in northern and central Appalachia produced about 94,091 tons of coal per injury versus 71,110 in nonunion mines, despite research suggesting that unionized miners are more likely to report injuries that have occurred on the job.

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AFL-CIO, CLC Denounce ‘Corporate Power Grabs’ Like ISDS in Trade Deals

Photo via http://eraclito450.blogspot.com/

On Monday, the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) reaffirmed their “cross-border cooperation in the struggle for people and planet-centered trade,” especially in three pending trade deals that would grant corporations “extraordinary legal rights” and power over each nation’s legal system.

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Indiana’s New Anti-LGBTQ Law ‘Condones Discrimination’

Photo via freedom Indiana Facebook page.

The Indiana legislature passed and Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a bill last week that critics, from human and civil rights groups to corporate CEOs to professional athletes, say opens the door to legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.

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T-Mobile Guilty of Violating Labor Law Workers’ Rights, NLRB Judge Rules

Photo via Lowering the Bar's Facebook page.

A judge at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yesterday found T-Mobile U.S. guilty of engaging in nationwide labor law violations against workers. The unprecedented ruling comes after a rare move last year by the NLRB consolidating multiple complaints against T-Mobile U.S. for illegal actions and policies in Albuquerque, N.M.; Wichita, Kan.; Charleston, S.C., and New York City.

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Time to Raise the Curtain on Fair Wages for Actors in LA’s Small Theater Scene

Time to Raise the Curtain on Fair Wages for Actors in LA’s Small Theater Scene

It’s not surprising that actors in small theaters (99 seats or fewer) in Los Angeles earn far less than the movie and TV mega-salaries we’re so familiar with. But it is shocking that these hardworking actors are paid as little as $7 to $15 a performance—and nothing for rehearsal—for shows that can run as long as 80 performances with as many as 36 hours a week of rehearsal.

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House Republican Budget: Same Old Cuts, Same Old Tricks

House Republicans on Tuesday released their budget proposal that privatizes Medicare, cuts Medicaid, repeals the Affordable Care Act, and slashes vital nutrition and family assistance programs. At the same time, it cuts taxes on the wealthy, capital gains and multinational corporations. It also is full of accounting tricks and gimmicks so that Republicans can claim it balances the budget.

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Trumka to Address Trade, TPP in Live Webcast Today

Trumka to Address Trade, TPP in Live Webcast Today

In a live webcast today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will discuss U.S. trade policy and American workers. The address and follow-up discussion will begin at 12:15 p.m. EDT from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The webcast will be available here.

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