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“We Can’t Do It on $10.10”—'New Rosies' Walk Off Their Jobs


Joanne, a food service worker at the federal Ronald Reagan Building near the White House, took time off from her job Monday to join fellow federal contractor employees at a protest outside the Smithsonian National Zoo. As she explained her monthly budget, it was clear she had nothing much to lose.

“I make just around $1,000 a month,” she said, “and I pay $500 for child care, and $250 just to ride the Metro to go to work. After that, I have nothing.”

Even with her husband’s support, Joanne said she struggles to get by. Her salary of “$8.90 an hour is not enough,” she said. “I have no insurance, no holidays – nothing. My dream is to go to culinary school, and President Obama, you can help me make my dreams come true.”