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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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Tell the Montgomery County Council to Pass a Passenger and Driver Bill of Rights

Tell the Montgomery County Council to Pass a Passenger and Driver Bill of Rights

Taxi drivers in Montgomery County, Md., work long hours and make barely above the minimum wage because the companies they work for charge them tens of thousands of dollars in fees each month. Fed up with this situation, these workers have proposed a Passenger and Driver Bill of Rights that would make sure drivers are paid a living wage, that they have basic workplace protections and are able to give their customers the best service possible. And they are working to get the County Council to pass the bill, which also would update the outdated dispatch system to improve service and convenience for riders and regulate companies like Uber.

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Oregon Workers Call for $15 State Minimum Wage

Oregon AFL-CIO photo

Workers across the country are standing up and fighting for higher wages, and the most vocal among them are fast-food and retail workers who are calling for a $15 living wage. Most recently, hundreds of workers rallied for a $15 wage in Oregon.

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Highlights of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

Highlights of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

We asked attendees at the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference to text us their impressions of this year's conference. The responses were positive, with the community service event and Martin Luther King Jr. March in Atlanta being the highlights. Here is what you told us (after the jump).

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Wait, What Did the GOP Just Say About Minimum Wage Workers? Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore 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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What Union Members Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular 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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23 Things Poor People Have to Worry About That Wealthier People Never Even Have to Think About

Photo by Cory Doctorow via Flickr Creative Commons

A recent Reddit thread discussed experiences people had while experiencing poverty, with a particular focus on those things that people are forced to buy or do that people who aren't poor never have to think about, much less worry about. In thousands of comments, people recounted hundreds upon hundreds of stories of trying to find ways to maintain a minimal lifestyle in the face of extreme poverty.  One of the things that labor unions were created to do, and a key focus of the AFL-CIO's Raising Wages campaign, was to prevent workers from having to suffer through these hardships and in states where union density is higher, wages for both union and nonunion workers are higher, meaning fewer people have to live through such experiences.

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Union Plus Scholarship Deadline Is Jan. 31

Union Plus Scholarship Deadline Is Jan. 31

Time is running out to apply for the 2015 Union Plus college scholarship program for union members and their children. Applications must be submitted by noon Eastern time on Jan. 31. Since 1992, the program has awarded more than $3.6 million to students of more than 2,400 working families. The awards will range from $500 to $4,000 and are for study beginning in the fall each year. Students may re-apply each year.

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Take Action: National Call-In Week Against Fast Track

Take Action: National Call-In Week Against Fast Track

The new Republican-controlled Congress isn't wasting any time in pushing policies that will harm working families. How long will it be until they start pushing for Fast Track trade authority, potentially one of the most devastating ideas that has serious traction in Washington, D.C., right now? The good news is that you don't have to sit around waiting for it to happen, you can take action now.

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Hitting a 'Lowe' Point: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Jaybird 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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The Secret to Happiness? Joining a Union!

That's the result of a study that AFSCME points us to—a study with data from 14 countries that concluded “union members are more satisfied with their lives than those who are not members, and that the substantive effect of union membership on life satisfaction is large and rivals other common predictors of quality of life.”

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