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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.

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What Union Members Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our latest feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions, state federations 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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5 Reasons Why Rick Snyder Is One of the Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections

Photo courtesy Michigan Municipal League on Flickr

It's an election year and we are quickly approaching the time when working families will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote against a whole host of extreme candidates who support policies that limit rights, make it even harder to afford a middle-class life and pad the pockets of their corporate buddies. One of the "Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections" is Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Here are five reasons why Snyder has been bad for working people.

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10 Ways President Obama Can Take Executive Action on Immigration to Protect Workers' Rights Now

10 Ways President Obama Can Take Executive Action on Immigration to Protect Workers' Rights Now

Emilio Garcia began working for U.S. Fibers in South Carolina in April 2010 as a maintenance worker. He worked 12-hour shifts with only a 30-minute lunch break because his wife and children depend on him. Garcia said that from the very beginning he and other workers were humiliated by management. Conditions were so bad that he and other workers decided to organize themselves with the assistance of the United Steelworkers (USW). But management wasn't happy with Garcia's organizing efforts, and they slowly began cutting his hours before firing him in July of last year. Garcia told his story to an audience today at a panel discussion hosted by the AFL-CIO. 

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10 Ways Mitch McConnell’s Obstructionism Has (and Will) Hurt Kentuckians

This week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested that if Republicans took control of the Senate in the November elections and he became majority leader, he would increase the use of tactics that could lead to future government shutdowns. He said he would favor spending bills with extensive riders on them that would likely be opposed by the president.  McConnell indicated that he would be perfectly okay with a government shutdown in those circumstances.

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Is Blue Plate Trying to Be Special? Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo of Longfellow Grill (a Blue Plate restaurant), courtesy Longfellow Grill on Flickr

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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6 Reasons Why Rick Scott Is One of the Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore on Flickr

It's an election year and we are quickly approaching the time when working families will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote against a whole host of extreme candidates who support policies that limit rights, make it even harder to afford a middle class life and pad the pockets of their corporate buddies.  Our first member of the Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections is Florida Governor Rick Scott.  Here are six reasons why Scott has been a bad governor for working people.

Make sure you're ready to vote this election season and text VOTE to 235246 for important reminders and updates. 

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Nominate Labor Films for the National Film Registry

Nominate Labor Films for the National Film Registry

The National Film Registry is a list of movies made by U.S. filmmakers that are deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” and they are preserved by the Library of Congress. Up to 25 selections are added to the registry each year after the public nominates hundreds of titles. Chris Garlock of the DC Labor FilmFest and Jon Garlock of the Rochester (N.Y.) Labor Film series suggest nominating outstanding labor films for the registry.

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Top 5 Union Plus Benefit Advantages

Top 5 Union Plus Benefit Advantages

Union Plus is designed to serve the interests of working families by providing union members and their families with value, quality service and cost savings through unique products and services. Here are the top five benefits union members can get today.
 

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Musicians Blast NFL Pay-to-Play Scheme

Photo courtesy Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Normally, regardless of what the field you work in, you show up, you perform the tasks required of you, then you get paid for your work.  The National Football League (NFL) has a better idea: Show up, perform and you pay them.  At least that'’s its proposal for musicians who might play at halftime of the Lleague'’s biggest event, the Super Bowl. 

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K&P Carwasheros Ignore Intimidation, Organize Instead

Photo courtesy RWDSU

Despite attempts by both the ownership of the K&P Car Wash and the Association of Car Wash Owners to intimidate them, workers at the K&P Car Wash in New York voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers. K&P becomes the ninth car wash to unionize since a campaign was launched in 2012.

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