Workers at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center filed a complaint with the Labor Department on Monday alleging a slew of labor violations against their employers, including not being paid the minimum wage and working as many as 80 hours a week without overtime pay.
The Reagan Building
is a federal property, but the workers who lodged the complaint are employed by private businesses in the building's food court, like a Subway sandwich shop, a Quick Pita franchise and a Smoothie King location. The complaint was issued by a new union-backed labor group, Good Jobs Nation, which is trying to draw attention to the low-wage contract jobs inside government-owned or -operated buildings, particularly in the D.C. area.
In addition to "low pay, long hours and no benefits," the workers are subject to "serious, willful and chronic violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act," the letter to officials states. "In fact, every food court worker who reported working over 40 hours per week was never paid overtime for those hours, even though work weeks of 60 or 70 hours are common, and some workers report working over 80 hours per week." [...]
A recent report
from the left-leaning think tank Demos
found that a lot of the food and janitorial jobs created through federal contracting don't provide the pay and benefits necessary to support families. Much of the taxpayer money instead ends up subsidizing the high salaries of executives at companies with concessions contracts, according to the report, titled "Underwriting Bad Jobs."