'$10.10 Is Not Enough,' Low-Wage Federal Contract Workers Tell Obama

Charles S. Clark/GovExec.com

Some 100 pro-union protestors, some dressed as World War II worker icon Rosie the Riveter, chanted in front of Washington’s Union Station Tuesday morning demanding that President Obama sign a new executive order raising  the hourly pay of low-wage government contract workers and permitting collective bargaining.

“$10.10 is not enough… Stand up, fight back,” shouted picket-sign-toting activists from Good Jobs Nation, a coalition of faith groups and low-wage workers that was joined by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

The workers, employed at Union Station, the Smithsonian, the Ronald Reagan Building, the Pentagon and the National Zoo, have staged nine strikes in recent years. They say the executive order President Obama signed in February, fulfilling a State of the Union promise to raise contractor minimum wages to $10.10 next year, “is not enough.”

Obama has cited as a model the Costco chain, which “allows workers to bargain without interference, doesn’t steal from them and doesn’t overpay CEOs," the Rev.  Michael Livingston, former National Council of Churches president, told the crowd. “If Costco can do it,” Livingston asked, “why can’t the federal government?”

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus, chanted in Spanish to say, “Obama, you’re in the fight,” adding, “I don’t believe any federal contractor who doesn’t pay a living wage deserves a federal contract.”

In urging Obama to sign the group’s proposed Good Jobs executive order, Ellison was joined by Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas; Del.  Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; and Sister Simone Campbell, organizer of the Nuns on the Bus campaign from the 2012 presidential election.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.