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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.

Walmart, Fast-Food Workers Lead Nationwide Fight for $15 Strike

Walmart, Fast-Food Workers Lead Nationwide Fight for $15 Strike

Today, tens of thousands of Walmart workers, fast-food, retail and other low-wage workers are engaged in a massive, nationwide strike in their fight for $15 an hour, consistent full-time hours and the right to join a union.

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Bill Would Make 9/11 Survivors' Health Care Program Permanent

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with Sept. 11 first responders and union leaders, today announced the introduction of legislation to make permanent the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The act makes critical health care available to first responders and workers suffering illnesses from the toxic stew at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed.

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On Equal Pay Day, Mind the Gap, All $431,000 of It

On Equal Pay Day, Mind the Gap, All $431,000 of It

Today, Equal Pay Day, marks the day when women workers close the 2014 pay gap, and that wage gap is huge. Women, on average, earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to men’s wages and that adds up to more than $10,800 a year and more than $400,000 over a career. 

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You Want to Hear the Band? Pay Them

Photo courtesy of StudioHole Recordings

When you hear a song on an AM/FM radio in your car or the radio in your garage or workout room, you probably figure the folks who made that music are getting paid. But the men and women doing the singing and playing do not see a penny of royalties for the hits they made. A new bill introduced in Congress today would pay the band.

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Preparing for Negotiations with the ‘New’ American Airlines

Earlier this spring, Transport Workers Union (TWU) members from locals at American Airlines and US Airways met in Maryland for an intensive six-day contract negotiations training session to prepare for upcoming contract talks with the “new” American Airlines once the merger between American and US Airways is approved. See the video above for a closer look.

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Indiana Official Resigns over Pence’s Wage-Cut Moves

WDOT photo via Flickr Creative Commons

While Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) was vacationing in Europe last week, a top state official resigned in protest over Pence’s efforts to cut middle-class wages. In his letter of resignation, Port Commissioner David Fagan wrote:

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High-Tech U.S. Workers Forced to Train Foreign Replacements; Bipartisan Senate Group Urges Federal H-1B Investigation

High-Tech U.S. Workers Forced to Train Foreign Replacements; Bipartisan Senate Group Urges Federal H-1B Investigation

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has called on the federal government to investigate abuses in the H-1B visa program, including allegations that some U.S. firms have not only laid off American high-tech workers and replaced them with lower-paid foreign workers, but forced the American employees to train their replacements.

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NYU Grad Employees Ratify Historic Contract

Photo coutesty of GSOC UAW Local 2110

New York University graduate employees—members of Graduate Student Organizing Committee UAW Local 2110—successfully capped a struggle that began at the turn of this century when they ratified a five year contract with the university. Lily Defriend, a Ph.D. candidate in the Anthropology Department said:

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In Ohio, Brown Rallies Workers Against Fast Track

Photo courtesy of Sen. Sherrod Brown's office.

While many of his congressional colleagues have been taking it easy during this two-week Easter–Passover recess, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has been carrying on his longtime fight against Fast Track trade authority and unfair trade deals that cost American jobs.

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Despite Labor Action Plan, Colombian Unionists Still Targeted for Death

Photo via Justice for Colombia

In the four years since the United States and Colombia signed the Labor Action Plan—a precursor  to the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement—to address entrenched labor rights violations, Colombian workers have suffered more than 1,933 threats and acts of violence, including 105 assassinations of union activists and 1,337 death threats, according to the latest report  issued by Escuela Nacional Sindical (Colombia’s National Union School).

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