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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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Extremists Going 'All In' to Make Missouri the Most Anti-Worker State in the U.S. We Can Change That

Extremists Going 'All In' to Make Missouri the Most Anti-Worker State in the U.S. We Can Change That

Extremists in the Missouri House are pushing for legislation that would hurt working families, importing a national agenda that faces bipartisan opposition in the state. Despite claims made by the proponents of the legislation, paycheck deception and "right to work" for less bills wouldn't help the states' workers and would limit the rights of those workers.

If you're in Missouri, call your state representatives at 888-825-1418 and tell them to oppose "right to work" H.B. 1770.

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4 Frightening Facts About the Influence of the Other NRA (the National Restaurant Association)

4 Frightening Facts About the Influence of the Other NRA (the National Restaurant Association)

What would America's politics be without the outsized influence from the NRA? In this case, however, we're talking about the National Restaurant Association, which uses an army of lobbyists to fight against the rights of working families who do all the work that makes them their profits. The industry that brings in $600 billion a year in revenue is a leader in fighting against raising the minimum wage and increasing wages for tipped workers, paid sick days and food safety rules.

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The Supremes Flirt with Oligarchy: 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 people 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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California Truckers Will Be Paid $2.2 Million in Misclassification Case

Photo courtesy Californiagal22 on Flickr

Think Progress reports that Pacer Cartage, a California logistics company, is being ordered to pay more than $2.2 million in back pay to short-haul truck drivers it illegally misclassified as independent contractors. The California Labor Commissioner's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement says that the company knew or should have known that the drivers were employees and not contractors and Pacer is required to pay restitution, attorney's fees and interest.

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Another Right-Wing Talking Point Falls: Americans Work Hard Even on Vacation

Photo courtesy Ziv Turner on Flickr

If you listen to extreme right-wing business types, you'd think that America's workers shouldn't be given paid vacation days, or any form of paid leave for that matter, because those workers will only abuse the days off and it'll hurt their employers' ability to even survive as a business. This opposition to paid leave has led to the United States being the only one of the world's 21 richest countries without mandated paid vacation days for all workers. According to a new survey from Glassdoor, however, America's workers are not only not abusing paid vacation days, or even using all of the ones they have, most people in America work during their paid vacations.

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If Walmart Paid Its Workers a Living Wage So They Wouldn't Need Food Stamps, How Much More Would It Cost Customers? (You'll Be Surprised)

Photo via Ryan R. Berdel Instagram (@nanokarbon)

Companies like Walmart often claim they can't afford to raise employee salaries because it would cause them to raise prices, which would hurt customers, decrease sales and then hurt the very employees whose salaries they raised, leading to layoffs and less hours. Ignoring the fact that they could easily absorb any such cost increases by slightly slimming down their billions of dollars of profits, the math just doesn't add up (watch the video after the jump).

If you think Walmart workers deserve a living wage, sign the petition

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Ruben Jones and Why We Need a $10.10 Minimum Wage

Ruben Jones is a man closer to the age where he should be thinking about retirement, contrary to the "teens who don't need the money" stereotype of minimum  and low-wage workers, and makes $8.00 working at a Golden Corral location in the Washington, D.C., area. He's worked for the company over the past five years without seeing a raise. He has two children and four grandchildren who live in Ocean City, Md., who he can't visit because he can't afford to make the trip. Ruben works hard every day, but he lives at home with his mother and grandmother because his low wages, even though they are above the minimum wage, aren't enough for him to get his own apartment. 

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Your First Half Million Guesses as to How Many College Graduates Are Working for the Minimum Wage Don't Count

Rally outside the Heritage Foundation.

The common conservative claim about the minimum wage is that there's no real need to raise it because most of the people who get it are teenagers who are just taking the jobs to build their résumé or for extra spending money, and people don't live off the wage. Once again, evidence comes forward to help shatter that stereotype: Nearly half a million people who have graduated college currently work in jobs that pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

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Want a Side Order of Wage Theft with Your Pizza? Call Domino's

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown on Flickr

Say it ain't so, Domino's. On the heels of a $1.28 million settlement between a Domino's franchisee in New York City on Feb. 23, more Domino's franchise owners in New York state reached a settlement with drivers and pizza cooks for $448,000 for wage theft. The new settlement was announced by the state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. Last week, Schneiderman also announced a roughly half-million-dollar settlement with a McDonald's franchise owner after employees made similar accusations.

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9 Important (and Scary) Facts About Youth Employment

Image courtesy MTSOfan on Flickr

The March 14 issue of CQ Researcher contains an extensive report on youth unemployment and related issues. While the in-depth article contains numerous compelling stories and much important research, here are the nine most important facts about the state of young people and their participation in the labor force.

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