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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.

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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NorCal IBEW Local’s Organizing Stewards Set for Big Year

IBEW Local 1245 photo

At Northern California’s large Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245, three dozen new “organizing stewards” in the class of 2015 have big plans for the coming year, says Eric Sunderland. Without a major election on the calendar, he says:

We should be able to do some serious movement-building this year.

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Healthy Families Act Would Let Workers Earn Paid Sick Days

Think Progress Illustration

There are at least 43 million U.S. workers who cannot earn a single paid sick day and have to decide between losing wages or even risking their jobs to take care of their own illness or a sick family member. On Thursday, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the Healthy Families Act that would give workers the opportunity to earn up to seven paid sick days they could use for personal illnesses or to take care of sick family members.

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New Bipartisan Bill Cracks Down on Currency Manipulation

New Bipartisan Bill Cracks Down on Currency Manipulation

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives unveiled legislation Tuesday to clamp down on countries—like China—that cheat trade law by manipulating their currency. That cheating has cost millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs and is a major reason for the massive U.S. trade deficit.

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