Most people don't think about them until they're gone.
They pick up your trays at the food court and empty the trash bins at the National Air and Space Museum. They make uniforms for the military and drive truckloads of federally owned goods. In other words, they quietly keep things running smoothly at federal buildings in Washington, D.C. and around the country.
But the two million or so low-wage workers who work for private companies on behalf of the federal government say they aren't recognized or compensated fairly, and they're sick of it. [...]
A recent report from left-leaning think tank Demos found that nearly two million employees who work on behalf of the federal government earn less than $12 per hour. The federal government touts the fact that they've created such jobs during a struggling economy, but Demos argues that adding low-wage jobs to the mix actually causes more problems down the line.
"When our tax dollars underwrite bad jobs, the economy as a whole is weakened and all of us are negatively affected," reads an article on Demos. "There is a ripple effect as low-paid workers and their families have little money to spend, hindering economic growth that could be creating more jobs. Poorly-paid workers also contribute less in taxes and are more likely to rely on public benefits to care for their families."