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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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Hardin County, Ky., Working Families File Lawsuit to Block Local 'Right to Work' Ordinance

One of the newest tactics pushed by anti-working family extremists is to attempt to pass "right to work" laws at the local government level, and Kentucky is one of the first battlegrounds for this new approach to attacking workers. Several counties have passed such ordinances even though the out-of-state interests behind the efforts can't get such laws passed at the state level. But Hardin County's working families aren't taking the attacks without fighting back, and are taking the recently passed law in Hardin County to court, arguing that it is illegal.

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Five Causes of Wage Stagnation in the United States

Five Causes of Wage Stagnation in the United States

A series of recent reports from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) make clear the case for why wages have stagnated in the United States. 

Before digging into the details, it's important to note a few things. First off, wage stagnation is not a small problem, it's something that affects 90% of all workers. As one of the authors of these reports, Lawrence Mishel, says: "Since the late 1970s, wages for the bottom 70 percent of earners have been essentially stagnant, and between 2009 and 2013, real wages fell for the entire bottom 90 percent of the wage distribution." Second, while the Great Recession made things worse, the problem goes back 35 years. And third, and most importantly, wage stagnation is a matter of choice, not necessity.

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Off to a Bad Start: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Keith Allison 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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AFL-CIO to Take Raising Wages Campaign to States and Cities

At the AFL-CIO's National Summit on Raising Wages last week, President Richard Trumka announced two important new parts of the labor federation's agenda.  This spring, the federation will sponsor Raising Wages summits in four key states. Additionally, the AFL-CIO will organize projects in 10 cities to focus on raising wages in those locales.

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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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8 Things You Need to Know About Trade Deals This Year

8 Things You Need to Know About Trade Deals This Year

A lot of the buzz about the new Republican-controlled Senate is about international trade deals, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and so-called Fast Track authority. As we previously discussed, the problems with Fast Track and TPP are plentiful. They aren't good for working families. They cost jobs and increase inequality. Here are eight things you need to know about TPP, Fast Track and other potential trade deals this year:

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Raising Wages Summit

Today, the AFL-CIO is sponsoring a National Summit on Raising Wages with a broad range of speakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and actress Piper Perabo, among many others. Panelists will discuss the need to raise wages for working people in America. Watch the summit via live stream.

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#ChangeZara Campaign Shows Results for New York Retail Workers

#ChangeZara Campaign Shows Results for New York Retail Workers

The #ChangeZara campaign began for workers at the retail clothing chain's stores in New York City last May, with employees asking for more pay and for the company to treat them with dignity and respect. The efforts finally paid off when the company texted the workers that they would be receiving a wage increase this January. Zara also is increasing the number of full-time positions in its stores. For many employees, the raise is significant. Valery Jourdan, for instance, will see her salary increase by $2.50 an hour.

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20 States Raise the Minimum Wage: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy MarylandGovPics 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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Bahraini Labor Activists: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo via Solidarity Center/Kate Conradt.

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.

Read more and comment »

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