Shortcut Navigation:

AFL-CIO Now

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.

Follow me on Twitter

6 Ways Pew Research is Encouraging a Generational War Over Social Security and Medicare

Matthew Yglesias points to a new piece from the Pew Research Center that, it seems, was written to spur a nonexistent (according to its own data) generational battle over Social Security and Medicare. Look, we understand it is difficult to write explanatory text to go along with the pretty sophisticated research included in the article, but the text you write should have at least some connection to that research. Pew failed to meet that standard.

Read more and comment »

Maryland Passes Responsible Contracting Law

Maryland Passes Responsible Contracting Law

Yesterday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signed a bill that protects taxpayers by prohibiting private contractors who have broken the law from obtaining contracts with the state. SB 669 would prevent companies from signing contracts with the state if they have been convicted of a variety of offenses, including tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the federal government, or willful violation of state prevailing and living wage rates, state wage and hour laws or state occupational safety and health laws.

Read more and comment »

Economic News Roundup

Economic News Roundup

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), National People's Action (NPA), the Center for Effective Government, and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) have released important research about the economy in the past few weeks.

Read more and comment »

To Vote or to Use the Restroom Should Not Be the Question: Winners and Losers of the Week

Hunger strikers praying for the release of their loved ones ansd to stop deportations. Photo via Twitter

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 people or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whomever or whatever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.

Read more and comment »

6 Reasons Why Unions Are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity

6 Reasons Why Unions Are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity

At the end of March, the Roosevelt Institute launched a new project, the Future of Work, which takes a look at the changing landscape in the area of workers’ rights and representation in the political and economic system that affects their lives. Author Richard Kirsch does a great job of explaining that landscape and discussing potential policy solutions in a report titled The Future of Work in America: Policies to Empower American Workers and Secure Prosperity for All.

Read more and comment »

Minnesota Set to Raise Minimum Wage to $9.50

Image via Working America

On Thursday, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of workers to $9.50 per hour by 2016. Under the law, which supporters expect Gov. Mark Dayton (D) to sign, businesses with gross sales of $500,000 or higher are required to raise their minimum wage to $8 per hour in August, $9 a year later and $9.50 by August 2016. Many smaller employers will be allowed to pay a lower rate, one that will reach $7.75 by 2016. Workers under 18 and 19- to 20-year-olds who are training still can be paid $7.25 per hour. From 2018 forward, the state's wage will be indexed to inflation.

Read more and comment »

You Know What Doesn't Work So Well? Private Prisons

The myth put forth by private prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group that private prisons are cheaper than public prisons is shattered by a new report from In the Public Interest, thus undercutting the primary rationale for prison privatization efforts across the country. When pushing for contracts with the many states that use private prisons, these corporations claim they are the better option because they can run prisons more cheaply than the government can. But this report not only dispels that idea, it highlights some of the less-than-savory activities the corporations engage in because of the perverse incentives created by these contracts.

Read more and comment »

10 Suggested Ways T-Mobile Can Further Punish Pro-Union Employees

Photo courtesy Joachim S. Muller on Flickr

On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board consolidated several complaints against T-Mobile for alleged anti-union practices, which will lead to a nationwide ruling several months down the road. Among the accusations of illegal behavior made by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) against the company are employee intimidation and interrogation and strong opposition to union organizing activities. 

Read more and comment »

Ohio Extremists Looking to End Government Transparency and Sell Elections to the Highest Bidder

Tim Burga

Anonymous extremists in the Ohio legislature are attempting to change the laws to increase the influence of independent groups in government and make it harder for average Ohioans to know what their government is doing or have any influence on that government.  According to Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, an anonymous amendment was submitted to a bill currently before the legislature that would eliminate an administrative rule governing campaign finance.  This would mean that contractors working for or attempting to work for the state can spend money trying to influence the outcome of elections of the very people who would potentially give them state contracts.  Furthermore, Burga said the repeal of the administrative rule would make groups that make independent election expenditures no longer required to disclose who made contributions to them.

Read more and comment »

Ohio Extremists Next Target? College Athletes

Photo courtesy WFIU Public Radio on Flickr

Not content to only go after collective bargaining rights, pensions and voting rights, the extremists in Ohio are targeting a new group of their state's residents, attempting to pre-empt any attempt by college athletes to organize and express their rights. After the National Labor Relations Board ruled that players at Northwestern University were employees of the school, and could thus form a union, Ohio's right-wingers took action to try to stop athletes at Ohio colleges and universities from following suit, proposing a bill that would specify that college athletes aren't employees in Ohio.

Read more and comment »

Online Community

Take Action

Stop Fast Track

Sign the petition and tell Congress to stop the Fast Track bill, it's undemocratic and bad for working families.

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Are you a union member?

GET TEXT FROM AFL-CIO

*Message and data rates may apply.

Facebook Favorites

Blogs

Join Us Online