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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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Social Security Report Delivers Reassuring News for Working Families

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to the release of the 2015 Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trustees Report.

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Democrats Introduce Bill to Make #SchedulesThatWork

Last week, Democrats, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Patty Murray (Wash.) and Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) and Bobby Scott (Va.), introduced a bill, the Schedules That Work Act, which would push employers in fields with known scheduling abuses to create predictable and stable schedules and would protect workers who ask for schedule changes. Under the legislation, workers in fields with a record of scheduling abuses—such as food service, retail and cleaning—would get their work schedules two weeks in advance and workers would receive additional pay for being put on call without any guarantee of work, being scheduled for a split shift, if they report to work and are sent home early, or they receive schedule changes without at least 24-hour notice. Employers would be required to consider and respond to all schedule requests and grant those requests based on health, care for children or the elderly, a second job, continuing education, or job training, unless there is a legitimate business reason not to do so.

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UAW Donates $50,000 in Memory of the Charleston 9

Photo courtesy UAW

Members of the UAW on Thursday announced a $50,000 donation to the Rev. Clementa Pinckney fund in honor of the Charleston 9 who were tragically murdered on June 17.

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Montgomery County Taxi Drivers Push for Massive Reforms

Photo courtesy Daniel Horacio Agostini on Flickr

Everyone is talking about the “gig economy.” From Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush, companies like Uber and their impact on the economy are on the minds of every reporter and a lot of workers these days. Today, taxi drivers in Montgomery County, Md.—working with the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA)—helped pass a sweeping set of reforms to the taxi industry that have the potential to shift this conversation yet again. This victory will help level the playing field and put power back into the hands of workers. It also presents an alternative vision for how taxi drivers and workers in general can take the lead in the new and changing economy rather than letting corporate behemoths like Uber set the agenda.

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To Be Fair, Scott Walker Knows a Lot About 'Lame': 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 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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SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards Nominations Are Now Open

SAG-AFTRA American Scene Awards Nominations Are Now Open

SAG-AFTRA has opened submissions for their second biennial American Scene Awards® and they will close on Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. 

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Horrible Bosses: 2016 Campaign Edition

The latest video from AFSCME takes a look at the Republican presidential candidates and uses their own words to conclude that the candidates would all be horrible bosses. From Jeb Bush telling you to work longer hours, to Scott Walker saying that paying you the minimum wage is “lame,” to Marco Rubio endlessly showering love on so-called "job creators," to Donald Trump telling you "You're Fired," these candidates would be absolutely terrible to work for in pretty much any capacity, much less if they were to win the presidency.

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Tell the Department of Labor to Stop Wall Street from Draining Your Retirement Account

Tell the Department of Labor to Stop Wall Street from Draining Your Retirement Account

When you pay a financial adviser to help you invest your hard-earned retirement savings, you would assume that they would be required, by law, to have your best interests at heart. But because of loopholes in the rules, advisers can get away with not only putting their own financial interests above that of their clients, but also allows them to take incentives from Wall Street firms to recommend investments that drain funds from ordinary Americans’ retirement accounts through hidden fees and lower returns. The White House Council of Economic Advisers says this costs us $17 billion a year.

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Papa John's Franchise Ordered to Pay $800,000 in Wage Theft Case

Photo courtesy Kiran SRK on Flickr

Papa John's, a pizza company not exactly known for their worker-friendly policies, may be the target of legal action after a franchisee in New York was ordered by a state judge to pay nearly $800,000 after being accused of underpaying employees and failing to pay them overtime. Emstar Pizza, which owns seven Papa John's stores, was sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for allegedly underreporting hours worked by employees and rounding workers' hours down to the nearest hour, as well as not paying overtime to workers who earned it. Schneiderman said he is considering pursuing action against Papa John's as well.

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New York Bike Workers Agree to Industry's First-Ever Union Contract

New York Bike Workers Agree to Industry's First-Ever Union Contract

Workers for Citi Bike in New York, represented by Transport Workers (TWU) Local 100, have agreed to terms on the first-ever union contract for bike share workers in North America. The union's board voted unanimously in favor of the agreement with NYC Bike Share-Motivate, which owns Citi Bike. Some 200 workers for the company will see hourly wages rise by more than 20% over five years and will receive numerous other improvements to their working situation once the contract goes into effect.

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