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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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Helping Women Veterans Find Sheet Metal Apprenticeships

Helping Women Veterans Find Sheet Metal Apprenticeships

After serving their country, many veterans have trouble transitioning into civilian jobs, particularly younger and female service members. The unemployment rate among all veterans ages 18–24 is 21.3% (compared to 13.1% of civilians. And while male veterans have an unemployment rate (4.2%) lower than the national rate, female veterans are much worse off with a 7.9% unemployment rate. Helmets to Hardhats, the International Training Institute and the construction trades are trying to do something about that problem.

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Trumka Calls on Obama to Take Executive Action on Immigration

Photo courtesy SEIU on Flickr

Wasting no time after the midterm elections, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka immediately stepped back into the policy arena, calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action on immigration. Executive action is particularly important now that a historically obstructionist Congress is likely to be followed by one that takes even less action on issues important to working families.

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Trumka: 'Americans Are Desperate for a New Economic Life'

“The defining narrative of this election was confirmation, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Americans are desperate for a new economic life,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Wednesday. After a disappointing election night, Trumka held a press conference to discuss the election and release the results of a poll conducted by Hart Research Associates that looked into the story behind the headlines. He said voters made it clear they want an economy that works for everyone.

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Fast Track Sneak Attack: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Stop Fast Track 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 Working in Fast Food Could Be Like

Photo courtesy Steven Isaacson on Flickr

Imagine you have a job where you get the full 40-hour workweek you want. You have affordable health care that meets your needs. You get five weeks paid vacation, paid maternity and paternity leave, a pension and overtime pay for working after 6 p.m. or on Sunday. You get your work schedule four weeks in advance so you can plan your life. And your employer can't send you home early without pay because business is slow. You have a union that is well-organized and fights to make sure your rights are protected. After you pay your rent and bills, you can still put some money in your savings account, and you still have money left over to go out and have a nice evening. And you know that if times get tough, that savings you have been able to put away will help you through.

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Take Action: The Final Countdown Has Begun

Take Action: The Final Countdown Has Begun

As the time between now and polls closing on Tuesday turns from days to hours to minutes, turnout by working families is going to be the deciding factor in numerous states. That means every phone call you make between now and midnight on Tuesday (when the last polls close in Alaska, a key state) puts us closer to preventing a government shutdown, impeachment of the president and an increased assault on the rights of working families.

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Join the AFL-CIO for Special Election Day Tweet Chats!

Join the AFL-CIO for Special Election Day Tweet Chats!

Election Day on Tuesday will be a busy day, with so much information coming in, it'll be a challenge to sift through all the details and figure out what it all means for working families. Luckily, we've got that stuff covered for you. Join us on Twitter for three Tweet chats throughout the day that will help you understand what all the results mean and get plugged into Election Day activities. 

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Mike Michaud, Mark Schauer Among Hundreds of Union Member Candidates Running for Office

Photo courtesy Bernard Pollack

Hundreds of union members are running for elective office this year. Some are first-timers running for local office. Others are incumbents seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate. We've examined a few of these brave individuals willing to fight for working families, such as Mike Michaud (running for Maine governor), Mark Schauer (running for Michigan governor) and  Don Norcross (running for New Jersey's 1st Congressional District). Here are a few other key races where union members are running.

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United We Dream's Christina Jimenez Wins 2014 Edna Award

Photo courtesy the Berger-Marks Foundation

The managing director of United We Dream, Cristina Jimenez, won the 2014 Edna Award, which honors women ages 35 or younger who are leaders in the social justice movement. The award, which comes with a $10,000 prize, is named for Edna Berger, the first woman organizer of The Newspaper Guild. Jimenez was an important leader in the fight that led to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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You Still Have Time to Influence the Outcome of the 2014 Election

You Still Have Time to Influence the Outcome of the 2014 Election

OK, so you've researched the candidates and figured out which ones are the best for working families. And you've either voted early or made a plan to vote. But you just don't feel like you've done enough to make sure that Tuesday's election doesn't turn into a nightmare scenario where Republicans shut down the government or take away workers' rights. What can you do?

Sign up for a shift and start making calls now and help make sure that election night is a good night for working families!

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