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U.S. Government's $1.3 Trillion Purchasing Power Could Lift 8 Million Workers Out of Poverty
Robert Hiltonsmith, Demos Policy Analyst & co-author of new Demos report Underwriting Good Jobs
Eight million workers rely on low-wage jobs supported by the federal government s $1.3 trillion in annual spending according to a new report by the public policy organization Demos . Building on Pres. Obama s executive order that raised the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of federally contracted workers, it calls for raising labor standards more broadly. The Good Jobs Executive Order advocated in the report would apply to the entire workforce of federally-supported employers significantly benefiting women and minorities " who make up a large percentage of low-wage workers in the federal purchasing footprint. It advocates for spending agencies to incorporate higher workforce standards when evaluating and awarding federal contracts including collective bargaining rights, living wages and good benefits, compliance with workplace protection laws and other applicable business regulations, and limits on excessive executive compensation.
Army of New Rosie the Riveters on Strike in Nation s Capital
Low-Wage Women Call on President Obama to Allow Collective Bargaining for Federal Contract Workers
Hundreds of low-wage federal contract workers working for fifty companies doing business at federal sites " like the National Zoo, Pentagon and Union Station " walked off their jobs . Led by an army of working women dressed like Rosie the Riveter, they marched through the Smithsonian National Zoo, where workers are joining the Good Jobs Nation campaign for the first time. This is the 8th strike by low-wage federal contract workers in the past year.
Progressive Caucus Supports Good Jobs Policy
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN),
Representative Ellison said that the Progressive caucus of the House supports these actions and plans to submit a proposal to the White House that would focus on low-wage workers employed by federal contractors. Ellison said he is unsure of how the President would respond to a proposal for executive action, but the representative pointed to President Obama s past actions as evidence that he would likely be sympathetic. Ellison underscored that he supported Good Jobs Policy as means of significantly reducing gender inequality in the workforce.
produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
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