Kenneth Quinnell works for the AFL-CIO.


What Working People Are Saying About the Janus Supreme Court Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, meaning the court will hold a hearing and make a ruling on the case. The case started with the billionaire governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, attempting to undercut the voice of public service workers through the courts. Janus is party of a broader strategy by corporate-funded organizations like the State Policy Network, which admits that the whole point of Janus is to strike a “mortal blow” and “defund and defang” unions. Working people are speaking out against these attempts to use the courts to attack their rights. 

What if Betsy DeVos Were Your Boss?

Betsy DeVos was nominated as secretary of education, and hearings for her nomination are currently underway. As reporters and pundits are examining DeVos’ record, we thought it would be interesting to imagine what it would be like to actually work for DeVos. This is speculative fiction, of course, but based on the things she’s said and done over the years (click on the link after each entry to read more about DeVos and that topic). But here’s what we think it could be like to work for DeVos.

What to Do if You Are Targeted at Work for Violence, Harassment or Hate Speech

Since Donald Trump won the election, nearly 900 incidents of violence, hate speech and harassment have been reported. In light of these attacks, it’s important that you know what your rights are and what you can do if you or someone you know is the target of one of these attacks in the workplace. Click on the links to learn more about your rights, what constitutes illegal activity and what you can do about it if you are targeted.

Build a Wall to Keep Trump Out of the White House

Finally, after what seems like years, we are almost to Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016. But we aren’t quite there yet, so we can’t let up now. We need to create a virtual wall between Donald Trump and the White House. Choose a brick, add your name and make sure that Trump won’t ever make it inside the White House without a visitor’s badge.

NFL Gameday: Brought to You by America’s Unions

If you’re like me and millions of other Americans, the beginning of the National Football League season is one of the more fun times of the year. Week 1 means that all of our teams are still in contention (at least for one more day). In contention all season, though, are the working people who bring you Game Day. Nearly every aspect of the NFL experience, in the stadium or at home, is brought to you by union members.

New AFL-CIO Trade Video Warns That TPP Would Double Down on NAFTA’s Economic Devastation

by Kenneth Quinnell 

The AFL-CIO released a video today showing firsthand the devastating economic impact the Trans-Pacific Partnership could have on communities across the country. When global companies move jobs offshore to take advantage of trade deals, they not only destroy jobs, they suppress wages, deprive local governments of needed resources and leave working families behind. 

10 Reasons You Should Sign the Petition Calling for the Repeal of the Health Care Tax

by Kenneth Quinnell

A new tax on health care plans is threatening to hurt working people and their families. The 40% tax on many health care plans will lead to increased out-of-pocket costs for workers. You can go right now and add your name to a petition to members of Congress asking them to keep the Affordable Care Act affordable by supporting a repeal of the health care benefits tax.

Worker Stories: Allysha Almada

On Oct. 7, the White House is holding a summit with leaders in the various movements to improve the lives of working people across the country, with a focus on how to make sure that economic growth is broad-based and that workers share in the benefits they help create with their labor. Until the summit begins, we'll be highlighting the stories of workers and their struggle to make sure their voices are heard on the job.

July 4 Made-in-America BBQ Shopping List

This week, in the lead-up to the nation's birthday on July 4, we'll be spotlighting union-made products. Stay tuned for a new list each day.

Many of us will celebrate Independence Day with a barbecue. We can keep the red, white and blue in the holiday with this made-in-America, union label backyard barbecue checklist, compiled from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the LA Labor 411's website, Union Plus and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

New Grand Alliance Mobilizes to Save Our Public Postal Service

In the face of aggressive attacks on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), a wide range of national organizations are standing up and fighting for one of the more widely used and important public goods in the United States. The Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service unites more than 60 groups in opposition to weakening the USPS for the sake of private investment and profit. Actor and activist Danny Glover supports the alliance and explains why, in a new video (see above) sponsored by the organization.

Fast Food Strikes Go Global Today

, AFL-CIO


Today, fast food workers around the world will engage in a one-day strike calling for higher wages and the right to form a union.  The events are taking place on May 15 as a symbol of the $15 wage that is being asked for by workers in the U.S. Actions are planned in more than 150 cities around the United States and in 30 other countries, according to Josh Eidelson. Thousands of workers are expected to participate and many cities will be seeing their first fast food strikes.

‘Build Your Dreams’ Electric Bus Co. Fined for Exploiting Workers & Cutting Safety Standards

Kenneth Quinnell

It was with great excitement that California elected officials welcomed the Chinese company Build Your Dreams (BYD) to build electric buses in places like Lancaster, Long Beach and Los Angeles. Hopes were high that BYD's Zero Emissions buses would clean the air, and hundreds of Angelenos would go to work in BYD's new downtown Los Angeles office, earning paychecks to support their families.

But this weekend, news reports revealed that the company's promises of jobs and quality products couldn't be more hollow. The California Department of Industrial Relations issued BYD numerous citations on Oct. 10, fining the company $79,250 and requiring it to pay $20,000 in back wages to 22 employees.

Airline Unions Respond to Asiana Crash in San Francisco

) issued a statement in response to the crash: “This event makes us pause. Regardless of carrier or country borders, events such as this call instant attention to our common bond with other Flight Attendants and those who serve in our industry. The safety and security of our flights is our highest priority as we look after each other and the passengers in our care. This is the primary purpose of our job, our training and our certification.”

Working Families Lobby Congress on Immigration Policy

Kenneth Quinnell

This week, working families are calling 27 U.S. senators and urging them to vote for an immigration reform bill that provides a reliable road map to citizenship for more than 11 million aspiring Americans. 

The bill is expected to reach the floor of the Senate this week, and the labor movement is ramping up its national campaign in support of the bill through phone calls, Internet advertisements and by having more than 50 leaders and allies from 24 states fly to Washington, D.C., to lobby elected officials today, the first full day of Senate debate.

Our Values @Work: IBEW 569 and San Diego Building Trades Support Affordable Housing

and the middle class is shrinking, Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 and the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council are doing their part to help working families not only survive, but thrive in the face of significant economic obstacles. The Southern California-based unions operate the National City Park Apartments, which support low- to moderate-income families by providing affordable housing in a nice, but expensive, neighborhood.

Chained CPI: The Younger You Are, the Bigger the Cut

Kenneth Quinnell

One of the proposals floated for months in the fiscal bluff debate in Washington, D.C., is a change to the formula used to measure inflation for Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) called the “chained” CPI. Let's be clear: This is a benefit cut. These COLAs make sure seniors' income keeps pace with the rising costs of housing and food. The “chained” CPI would cut future Social Security benefits by as much as $2,432 for someone who is 17 years old today. Studies from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) show that not only is the “chained” CPI a benefit cut, it eventually will lead to higher taxes for most working people.

The Shadowy Trail from the Koch Brothers to ‘Right to Work’ for Less in Michigan

Kenneth Quinnell

Michigan is poised to become the latest state to pass “right to work” for less legislation, a mislabeled policy that is designed to weaken the rights and wages of working families. As is often the case in recent years, extreme anti-worker legislation, like the law in Michigan, can be traced back to Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the group's founders Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who fund a host of extreme right-wing organizations.

Lame-Duck Session of Congress: Myths and Facts

Kenneth Quinnell

In the recently convened “lame-duck” session of Congress, senators and representatives will take on a number of issues that could have major consequences for working families and retirees. Congress is considering benefit cuts for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare and members are looking at cutting taxes for the wealthy even further. Any deal that Congress makes, though, should be based on facts and not the myths that have sprung up around taxes, the deficit and the earned benefit programs. Here are a few of the key myths and the truth behind them.