'$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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

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