Striking low-wage workers massed outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to demand “$15 and a union.” Senate cafeteria worker Charles Gladden, who made national news earlier this year because he’s homeless, told the crowd of nearly 1,000 federal contract workers that “I would sleep outside the McPherson Square Metro station, which is only a few blocks away from the White House.” By outsourcing its workers to private contracting companies, the U.S. government has become one of the largest low-wage employers. Sontia Bailey, a cashier in the Capitol’s cafe, described how she’d had to pick up a second job at KFC, which pays her more than her hourly wage at the Capitol. Click below to read more.
- report/photo by Sivan Rosenthal
Several progressive senators, including Bernie Sanders (D, VT) attended and spoke, announcing that they are presenting new legislation to Congress that would not only raise the minimum wage, but require the tipped minimum wage to be $15 as well. “If you work 40 hours a week you have a right not be living in poverty,” said Sanders. “The U.S. government should not be the largest low-wage employer in America. It should be the best employer in America.”