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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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States that Have Raised the Minimum Wage this Year Have Faster Job Growth

States that Have Raised the Minimum Wage this Year Have Faster Job Growth

In the 13 states that saw their minimum wage rise on Jan. 1, 2014, job growth has been higher so far this year than in states where the minimum wage stayed the same. Extreme pro-business interests often argue that raising the minimum wage will lead to job losses, but once again, the evidence suggests otherwise.  The Center for Economic and Policy Research looked closely at the data and found states that raised their minimum wage increase have seen an average increase in employment of 0.99%, while the static states saw an increase of only 0.68%.

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That's Not Funny: Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Mike Mozart 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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Musicians Call on Lionsgate to Stop Taking Taxpayer Dollars to Score Movies Overseas

Photo courtesy the Conmunity on Flickr

Members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) are speaking out against movie studios that accept tax credits to film in the United States, then create the scores for those films overseas. Lionsgate, for instance, had revenue last year of $2.7 billion, millions of which came from tax credits—yet it paid musicians less money in Macedonia to score such films as the recent Kevin Costner film "Draft Day." AFM says its members’ total earnings from scoring movies have fallen by half since 2007.

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Help Randi Weingarten Make the Case for Due Process for Teachers

Photo courtesy Cybrarian77 on Flickr

At the U.S. News and World Report’s Debate ClubAFT President Randi Weingarten makes a very clear case for why all teachers need strong due-process protections, most notably to allow them the flexibility to innovate and discover new and exciting ways to reach their students. In sharp contrast to the arguments made by corporate-education proponents such as Michelle Rhee (who is also featured in the Debate Club), Weingarten highlights why due-process rights for teachers are beneficial to students and the communities they live in.

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19 States Take Steps to Fight Back Against Privatization

19 States Take Steps to Fight Back Against Privatization

Lawmakers are beginning to recognize the widespread problems with the outsourcing of government services. According to a new report from In the Public Interest, 19 states have taken proactive steps to reverse this trend, which began in the 1970s and 1980s. The report also notes that taxpayers have begun to tire of the diminished quality and even loss of services that can arise from outsourcing them.

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Labor Department to Expand Legal Protections for Transgender Workers

Photo courtesy the Department of Labor on Flickr

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced today that discrimination against transgender employees working for federal contractors is illegal under Executive Order 11246, which, among other things, prohibits discrimination based on sex. Perez said the Labor Department “will issue guidance to make clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex.” The announcement affirms protections in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's decision more than two years ago in Macy v. Holder.

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Working Families Call for House Republicans to Act on One-Year Anniversary of Stalling on Immigration

Working Families Call for House Republicans to Act on One-Year Anniversary of Stalling on Immigration

A year ago, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill that would address many of the flaws with the country's broken immigration system, but House Republican leaders have done just about everything in their power to stall the bill, and it hasn't even come to a vote. Today, the AFL-CIO and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) hosted an event to highlight the tragic impact the ongoing deportation crisis has had on workers and families.

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Unions Celebrate LGBTQ Progress; Look Toward Continuing Challenges

In celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month, the AFL-CIO and Pride At Work hosted a panel discussion Monday that surveyed efforts by various unions in advancing LGBTQ rights and discussed ongoing challenges that unions face in advancing the rights of LGBTQ workers. In particular, panel participants talked about the need of unions to become more inclusive, to increase efforts to protect transgender workers and to fight for state laws that prevent employers from firing workers for their sexual orientation or gender expression.

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Pittsburgh Adjunct Faculty Votes to Join USW

Pittsburgh Adjunct Faculty Votes to Join USW

Part-time professors at Pittsburgh's Point Park University have voted to join the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers (AFA-USW). The votes were counted this morning by the National Labor Relations Board.

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A Step Closer to the American Dream: Winners and Losers of the Week

A Step Closer to the American Dream: 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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