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Showing blog posts by Kenneth Quinnell

Kenneth Quinnell

I am a long-time blogger, campaign staffer and political activist.  Before joining the AFL-CIO in 2012, I worked as labor reporter for the blog Crooks and Liars.  Previous experience includes Communications Director for the Darcy Burner for Congress Campaign and New Media Director for the Kendrick Meek for Senate Campaign, founding and serving as the primary author for the influential state blog Florida Progressive Coalition and more than 10 years as a college instructor teaching political science and American History.  My writings have also appeared on Daily Kos, Alternet, the Guardian Online, Media Matters for America, Think Progress, Campaign for America's Future and elsewhere.  I am the proud father of three future progressive activists, an accomplished rapper and karaoke enthusiast.

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What Union Members Are Doing This Week

What Union Members Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing around the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

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The Real ALEC Promo Video

The newest video from AFSCME takes a closer look at the latest promotional video from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy, extremist organization behind much of the anti-worker agenda in the states. It seems that the video left some information out, but AFSCME quickly responded and helped out by including the missing info. Check it out and learn more about ALEC on AFSCME's blog.

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Victory in New York! Fast-Food Workers to Get $15 Minimum Wage

Victory in New York! Fast-Food Workers to Get $15 Minimum Wage

A national movement for a higher minimum wage, increased dignity and a better quality of life looks like it's going to pay off for the New York fast-food workers who launched the whole thing. Momentum has grown in recent years for not only increasing the minimum wage, but for making the wage closer to one that workers can support their families on, and the state of New York is set to join the wave. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) directed the state's acting commissioner of labor to appoint a panel to consider the issue, and the panel has recommended that the state raise the wage for fast-food workers to $15 per hour in chains that have more than 30 outlets. The acting commissioner still must approve the changes, but he is widely expected to do so. When he does, 70% of New Yorkers who currently work for the minimum wage will see a raise.

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Deadline for Nominations for Berger-Marks' 'Edna' and 'Kate' Awards Is This Friday

Deadline for Nominations for Berger-Marks' 'Edna' and 'Kate' Awards Is This Friday

The Berger-Marks Foundation, which helps organize women into unions, gives out the Edna Award and Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award each year to recognize young women active in labor and social justice work. The deadline for nominations for this year's awards is Friday, July 24, before midnight ET. The winners will be honored at an event in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12.

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Social Security Report Delivers Reassuring News for Working Families

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to the release of the 2015 Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trustees Report.

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Democrats Introduce Bill to Make #SchedulesThatWork

Last week, Democrats, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Patty Murray (Wash.) and Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) and Bobby Scott (Va.), introduced a bill, the Schedules That Work Act, which would push employers in fields with known scheduling abuses to create predictable and stable schedules and would protect workers who ask for schedule changes. Under the legislation, workers in fields with a record of scheduling abuses—such as food service, retail and cleaning—would get their work schedules two weeks in advance and workers would receive additional pay for being put on call without any guarantee of work, being scheduled for a split shift, if they report to work and are sent home early, or they receive schedule changes without at least 24-hour notice. Employers would be required to consider and respond to all schedule requests and grant those requests based on health, care for children or the elderly, a second job, continuing education, or job training, unless there is a legitimate business reason not to do so.

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UAW Donates $50,000 in Memory of the Charleston 9

Photo courtesy UAW

Members of the UAW on Thursday announced a $50,000 donation to the Rev. Clementa Pinckney fund in honor of the Charleston 9 who were tragically murdered on June 17.

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Montgomery County Taxi Drivers Push for Massive Reforms

Photo courtesy Daniel Horacio Agostini on Flickr

Everyone is talking about the “gig economy.” From Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush, companies like Uber and their impact on the economy are on the minds of every reporter and a lot of workers these days. Today, taxi drivers in Montgomery County, Md.—working with the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA)—helped pass a sweeping set of reforms to the taxi industry that have the potential to shift this conversation yet again. This victory will help level the playing field and put power back into the hands of workers. It also presents an alternative vision for how taxi drivers and workers in general can take the lead in the new and changing economy rather than letting corporate behemoths like Uber set the agenda.

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To Be Fair, Scott Walker Knows a Lot About 'Lame': Winners and Losers of the Week

In our regular weekly feature, we’ll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.

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SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards Nominations Are Now Open

SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards Nominations Are Now Open

SAG-AFTRA has opened submissions for their second biennial American Scene Awards® and they will close on Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. 

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