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Low-Wage Workers Picket Outside Federal Buildings

Washington Post

A handful of food-service workers walked off their jobs in the food court of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Tuesday morning as part of a day-long protest of low wages paid to federal contract employees.

The series of protests, dubbed “Good Jobs Nation,” was in support of the contract workers who clean the offices, serve the food and take care of the museums and landmarks in the federal city, some of whom said they make less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. [...]

The action is part of a national campaign that has prompted fast-food and retail workers to go on strike in Milwaukee, Detroit, New York City, St. Louis and Chicago.

A recent study by public policy organization Demos estimated that federal contracts and concessions fund nearly 2 million private-sector jobs paying less than $12 an hour, the minimum that Demos said is required for a living wage. The study said that number is more than all the low-wage jobs created by Wal-Mart and McDonald’s combined.