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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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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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Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Joe Loong 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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Testing Their Mettle

Testing Their Mettle

The Boilermakers (IBB) union places its apprentice training program at center stage every year by hosting a national apprenticeship competition. The competition is a pressure cooker: Over the course of four 10-hour days, apprentices are tested on the entire four-year Boilermakers apprenticeship curriculum and acquired hands-on skills.

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What Target Says in Its New Anti-Union Video, and What It Really Means

Target is at it again. The country's third-largest retailer has long been anti-union, and it has a new version of its hilarious propaganda video meant to scare workers away from organizing for a voice on the job. Gawker and other sources have run the video, which is filled with so many lines that are dishonest or misleading that you have to double check to make sure it isn't a comedy piece produced by The Onion.

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5 Ways Raising the Minimum Wage Will Help African Americans

5 Ways Raising the Minimum Wage Will Help African Americans

In addition to the many other benefits we've spotlighted about raising the minimum wage, a new report released by the AFL-CIO today finds that raising the minimum wage would help millions of African American families. The report, which is based on Economic Policy Institute data, shows that African Americans often live in a state of economic insecurity and that raising the minimum wage would be an effective way to counter that insecurity for some 4 million African Americans.

If you think America's working families need a raise, sign the petition

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'Give America a Raise' Bus Tour Rolls into Pennsylvania

'Give America a Raise' Bus Tour Rolls into Pennsylvania

The "Give America a Raise" Bus Tour, organized by Americans United for Change and a coalition of allies, including the AFL-CIO, isstopping in Pennsylvania this week in Wyomissing, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to continue spreading the message about the need to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is one of the speakers this week at the rally in Philadelphia. The overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians, 70% in a recent Quinnipiac poll, support raising the wage, but many of the state's members of Congress are extremists who vote with the tea party often enough, according to Americans United for Change, that more pressure needs to be put on them to do the right thing.

If you think America's working families need a raise, sign the petition

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