Stand with Senators Sanders and Warren: Federal Contract Workers Deserve a Living Wage

Tell President Obama:
“Issue an executive order giving preference in government contracting to ‘model employers’ who pay workers a living wage, decent benefits, and allow collective bargaining rights. American taxpayer dollars should reward good companies that create middle-class jobs, not companies that keep workers in poverty.”
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In recent months, tens of thousands of CREDO members have taken actions in solidarity with low wage federal workers, who have been demanding President Obama to sign an executive order that requires the federal government to contract with companies who pay their workers a living wage.1
Now, progressive champions Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have joined that push by sending a public letter to President Obama asking him to issue the executive order.

Senators Warren and Sanders just gave those workers’ campaign a huge boost. It is time for us to rally around them.

Right now, our tax dollars routinely pay for government contracts that reward companies who pay millions of workers poverty-level wages. The renewed attention to low-wage federal contract workers is in large part due to a major wake up call last month, when The Washington Post ran the story of 63-year-old Charles Gladden, a full-time U.S. Senate cafeteria worker who was revealed to be homeless.2
Many of those workers have to rely on public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid, hitting taxpayers a second time and forcing all of us to subsidize the greed of private companies.

And when millions of workers are routinely paid poverty wages on such a massive scale, it drags down national standards for all American workers across all industries. Which means that, right now, the government is playing an active role in rising economic inequality and a disappearing American middle class.3
In their letter to President Obama, Senators Sanders and Warren wrote:
We believe that our taxpayer dollars should reward good companies that create middle class jobs for America, not companies that force workers to depend on public aid programs. […]
You have held up profitable companies, such as Costco, as examples of model employers to be emulated because they pay their workers living wages and benefits as well as respect their right to organize unions. Now is the time to declare that the federal government will invest our taxpayer dollars to incentivize model employers that commit to creating good jobs and to rebuilding America’s ailing middle class.4

The president has demonstrated that executive action can help workers. After low-wage federal contract workers went on strike in Washington, D.C., the president used the 2014 State of the Union to announce that he would sign the $10.10 Minimum Wage Executive Order. The president’s bold leadership set-off a chain reaction. In the following year, the CEOs of major companies – such as Gap, Inc., IKEA, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s – boosted starting pay, mayors issued executive orders to raise wages, and state and local governments passed minimum wage hikes.
That’s why we’re calling on the president to use his executive powers to help low-wage federal contract workers. He can do so by signing a “model employer” executive order that gives a preference to contractors that pay a living wage of at least $15 an hour, offer decent benefits like paid leave, and respect our right to collectively bargain so we don’t have to go on strike.
When the president leads, America follows. President Obama has said that income inequality is the defining challenge of our time, and that he would take executive action to help the middle class. Here is his opportunity to lead by example and lift millions of low-wage federal contract workers into the middle class.

Stand with Senators Sanders and Warren. Add your name and tell President Obama: Sign a “model-employer” executive order for low-wage federal contract workers. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thank you for your standing up for workers.
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition â–º