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Mike Elk
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Entries by Mike Elk

Why I Never Apologized for the Biggest Mistake of My Career as a Labor Reporter

(12) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 4:33 PM

Recently, there has been a resurgence in vinyl records among my generation because of what some say is their superior sound quality. With MP3s, there is so much depth of sound and information lost. Much like vinyl records, I have come to appreciate the value of old-school, straight reporting. As...

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Does the National Labor Relations Board Even Matter?

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2011 | 12:46 PM

The ineffectiveness of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has always been a big complaint of organized labor. Many in unions have claimed that the long delays in hearing cases of illegal union busting -- sometimes up to two years after an organizing drive is over -- makes enforcement of...

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'Class War' Between Private and Public Sector Unions?

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Last week, the conservative pundit William McGurn wrote in the Wall Street Journal of a coming class war between public sector union members and private sector union members who "notice that their job prospects are at risk from public-employee union contracts."

Indeed, there does seem to be a growing...

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Do the New NLRB Rules Really Help Workers Organize?

(3) Comments | Posted January 7, 2011 | 1:18 PM

A series of rules have been proposed recently by the National Labor Relations Board that improve the rights of workers on the job. The rule changes by the NLRB have been hailed by organized labor as great triumphs that will promote the right to organize. But some question whether the...

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Obama, CEO Lovefest Produces No Pledges to Create Jobs, Stop Union Busting

(3) Comments | Posted December 16, 2010 | 3:28 PM

Yesterday, President Obama met with some of the nation's largest CEOs asking them to do more to create jobs in the United States. Obama reportedly asked business leaders what he could do to help create more jobs in America. Perhaps, Obama should have been asking these CEOs why, despite numerous pledges...

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Bernie Filibusters Not Just on the Senate Floor, But On Picket Lines

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2010 | 1:12 PM

Last Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made headlines across the world by standing on the Senate floor for eight-and-half hours "filibustering" and denouncing special interests that benefit from tax cuts. It should serve as no surprise to the workers in Bernie's states that he was willing to take...

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What a Great Dog Named Murphy Taught Me About Life and Labor Journalism

(8) Comments | Posted December 9, 2010 | 9:40 AM

With this column, I will now have written my 100th column for the Huffington Post. The first column I wrote for the Huffington Post was about one of the loves of my life -- beer -- in an article entitled "Union busting Ended My Love Affair with a...

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UAW President: Critics of Korea Treaty Don't Represent Workers

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2010 | 4:05 PM

UAW President Bob King sparked outraged among progressives and the labor movement by endorsing the Korea Free Trade Agreement. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the treaty will cost 159,000 American jobs over the next five years.

Blogger Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake criticized King, writing that "by choosing to...

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Locked Out Honeywell Workers Kicked Out of Fiscal Commission Meeting

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 3:08 AM

Locked out workers at Honeywell's Metropolis, Illinois uranium facility have been traveling all over the country to meet with Honeywell CEO David Cote to discuss ending the current lockout. On June 28, Honeywell locked out its union workers during contract negotiations because the union, United Steelworkers (USW) Local...

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Is the Federal Pay Freeze Obama's PATCO?

(29) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 1:44 AM

The Obama administration, looking to bolster its deficit-cutting credentials and show its desire to take on what some label a "special interest" -- organized labor -- recently announced a two-year freeze on the wages of all federal workers. Tim Fernholz of The American Prospect points out that the pay freeze will reduce...

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I Am Thankful for TSA Workers

(348) Comments | Posted November 26, 2010 | 4:42 PM

TSA workers have one of the worst jobs in America. Reports and surveys by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general show morale among TSA workers is at record lows for the federal workforce and jeopardizes airport security. "It is no secret that the morale of the TSA...

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Electoral Defeat Shows It's Time Progressive Bloggers Started Caring About the Labor Movement

(13) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 12:15 PM

Because the labor movement needs their help, and electoral politics are a dead end.

The recent Democratic loss of more than 60 seats in the House is their largest since 1938, when the party lost 80 seats. But because the number of workers joining unions was increasing during this period,...

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ABC's Amanpour Refuses to Ask Honeywell CEO About Locked Out Workers

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2010 | 12:58 PM

Noted labor historian Joe Burns has called the lockout of 230 workers at the Honeywell uranium processing facility in Metropolis, IL the highest profile ongoing labor dispute in the country right now. Despite this, not a single major news outlet outside of the Huffington Post has covered the...

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Some Good Election News: Thousand of Airline Workers Vote to Unionize

(10) Comments | Posted November 8, 2010 | 7:05 PM

Amid all the bad news for workers from last week's midterm elections, you probably missed one very good election result: 3,000 workers with Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of US Airways, voted to become members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA). The election results are a great victory for workers...

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Ballot Intiative Victory Points to Next Possible Casualty for Unions: Project Labor Agreements

(7) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 4:03 AM

Yesterday, voters in San Diego County, CA, voted nearly two to one in favor of a ballot initiative, perhaps the most important issue for organized labor on the ballot, which forbids unions from negotiating Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on construction projects financed by the county government. Union-busting construction groups like...

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What the San Francisco Giants and My Dad Can Teach Progressives About Overcoming Defeat

(10) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 4:19 PM

"I can't believe this, the last time the Giants won the World Series I was one years old" exclaimed my Dad on the phone after last night's victory by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. At the beginning of the season, few would have predicted a team lacking...

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Jon Stewart Rally Represents Elitism, Consumerism, and Disrespect for the Progressive Movement

(179) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 1:43 PM

Many Jon Stewart followers see his "Rally to Restore Sanity" on Saturday as a progressive rallying cry. Stewart claims on his website it is not, saying, "If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence... we couldn't. That's sort of the...

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Honeywell Spending More to Keep Workers Locked out Than the Cost of Their Demands

(48) Comments | Posted October 22, 2010 | 4:15 AM

The locked-out workers of USW Local 7-699 in Metropolis, Ill., are claiming that their company, defense contractor Honeywell, is spending more money to keep its workers locked out than what it would cost to give the workers what they are demanding. Honeywell wants to cut retiree healthcare and pensions entirely...

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Rescued Chilean Miners Greeted As Heroes -- but They're Also Victims

(10) Comments | Posted October 15, 2010 | 2:52 AM

The 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days have been treated like heroes since their rescue this week. They were invited to the country's presidential palace for a special soccer game. A Greek mining executive offered to pay for them to take an all-expense paid trip to...

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Honeywell, America's Top Political Donor, Has Received $13 Billion in Federal Money

(16) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 4:25 PM

The Honeywell Corporation, having given $3 million in PAC contributions, is the number one political donor in the country according to a report released yesterday by the Center for Responsive Politics. Honeywell had refused to get involved in political giving under former CEO Lawrence Bossidy, who left in...

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