Federal Contract Workers Just Went on Strike in DC

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Despite its reputation for inefficiency, the feds have become one of the nation’s most efficient producers of poor workers, through federal contracts, grants, loans, and other social programs that provide government services or outsource its functions. Collectively, according to Demos, these public investments in private vendors (which bankroll some of America’s wealthiest CEOs) drives about 2 million low-wage private-sector jobs (paying $12 or less): Washington may not seem as greedy as your average multinational, but that’s “more than the number of low-wage workers at Walmart and McDonalds combined.”

These jobs, “clustered in sectors and industries like apparel manufacturing, retail trade, basic construction, facilities support, security services, and education,” according to Demos, are actually dragging down and suppressing labor standards by paying such dismal wages—not to mention perpetuating vast income gaps even in traditionally better-paying sectors like aerospace manufacturing.

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