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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.

White House Moves to Close Retirement Advice Loophole

White House Moves to Close Retirement Advice Loophole

The Obama administration today took the first step to close a loophole in the rules that govern Wall Street brokers and financial firms that provide retirement investment advice. That loophole can drain away thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars of hard-earned savings from a single retirement account.

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USW Oil Workers Expand Strike, Cite Safety Concerns

Photo via USW Facebook page

Oil workers at three more refineries and a chemical plant joined the United Steelworkers’ (USW’s) unfair labor practice strike against the oil industry over the weekend. With workers and plant safety a major concern, USW President Leo W. Gerard said:

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Here’s the IBEW Photo Contest Winner

Here’s the IBEW Photo Contest Winner

Seattle Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 77 member Derek Williams’ shot of linemen carefully replacing high-voltage equipment that was battered by Washington’s winter, framed with towering evergreens and a mountainous backdrop, was voted winner of the 17th IBEW Photo Contest.

 

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Collective Action Pays Off, Just Look at These 24 Hours

Collective Action Pays Off, Just Look at These 24 Hours

In 24 hours starting late Wednesday, workers who have been standing together in collective action scored three major victories.  Walmart workers got a raise, Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Communications Workers of America (CWA) members settled their strike with FairPoint, and United Steelworkers made safety at oil refinery plants a national issue.

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Refinery Blast Exemplifies Striking Oil Workers Safety Concerns

An explosion at an ExxonMobil refineryin Torrance, Calif., earlier this week that injured four workers and shook homes for miles around was a chilling reinforcement of the safety concerns that striking oil workers have stressed, as the above video from the United Steelworkers (USW) shows.

 

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Poll Shows Voters Will Hold Lawmakers Accountable for Fast Track Support

Poll Shows Voters Will Hold Lawmakers Accountable for Fast Track Support

A new poll shows that the controversy and concern over fast track trade authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement resonates far beyond Washington, D.C., and that lawmakers who support flawed, job-killing trade deals do so at their own risk.

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Walmart’s Raise for Workers ‘Proof Collective Action Works’

Walmart announced today it was giving its lowest-wage workers a raise to at least $9 an hour by April and $10 an hour by 2016. The retailer’s action comes after Walmart workers have been increasingly vocal and active over Walmart’s low pay, benefits, working conditions and treatment. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the announcement: [after the jump]

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Keep the TPP Off the Fast Track

New York Stae AFL-CIO photo

In a guest column in the Detroit News, Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift outlines the flaws in the Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP trade agreement and the “fast track” authority President Obama is seeking for approval of the deal.

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Global Unions Defend Right to Strike

Global Unions Defend Right to Strike

In events and rallies around the world Wednesday the global labor movement acted together to defend the right to strike of workers everywhere. That basic labor right says the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is under attack by employer groups at the International Labor Organization (ILO)   

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Trumka Says Injunction Against Obama’s Immigration Executive Action a ‘Temporary Setback’

Trumka Says Injunction Against Obama’s Immigration Executive Action a ‘Temporary Setback’

A federal judge in Texas Monday temporarily blocked President Obama's November executive action on immigration. The judge’s action threatens immigration relief for as many as 4 million people. The Obama administration will appeal the ruling. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement.

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