Chanting "$15.00 and a union," thousands of federal contract workers walked off their jobs yesterday, led by the Senate's cafeteria workers who serve Senators their food. They were joined by Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Keith Ellison (D-Minn) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz). Sanders announced they were introducing legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Sanders also reiterated his call on President Obama - joined in a formal letter by Elizabeth Warren and 18 other Senators -- to give preferential treatment to good jobs for employers in government contracting - employers who pay their workers a living wage, offer decent benefits like paid sick leave, and recognize the right to bargain collectively.
Action is long overdue. The Federal government is, as Demos reports, the largest low wage employer in the country. Senators - particularly the four running for president in addition to Sanders - ought to learn a bit about the lives of those who serve them every day.