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  • Friday, February 7, 2014 Statement in Support of Workers with Disabilities

    Workers with disabilities deserve the same protections as workers without disabilities. That is why Change to Win and the Good Jobs Nation campaign are proud to urge President Obama and Secretary Perez to include workers with disabilities in their forthcoming landmark executive order requiring a $10.10/hour minimum wage for employees of federal contractors. Change to Win is proud to stand with all low wage workers fighting to improve their circumstances.  As the White House and Department of Labor work to prepare the details of the executive order, we wish to strongly state our support for the full inclusion of workers with disabilities, including those today being paid drastically less than minimum wage, in the executive order.

    Today, 420,000 workers with disabilities are paid less than minimum wage under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Many of these workers are being employed under federal contracts.

    According to the Government Accountability Office, more than half of all 14(c) workers make $2.50/hour or less. As Secretary Perez commented this week on the Diane Rehm Show, Section 14(c) is “a provision of law which has worked to the detriment of people with disabilities.”

    We urge the White House to issue an inclusive executive order, including workers with disabilities now under 14(c) programs. In the last several years, we have seen commitments from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon to phase out the use of sheltered workshops – the primary setting where disabled workers are paid less than minimum wage. Vermont ended the use of both sheltered workshops and subminimum wage employment of people with disabilities in 2003. Workers with disabilities have shown time and time again that they are as capable and as worthy of contributing to our workforce as any other American. It is our sincere hope that the President’s forthcoming landmark executive order will reflect that principle.

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  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 Executive Order for Federal Contract Workers: Symbolic Effect Signaling Change to the Private Sector

    "What this shows is that workers can win when they act, and not just for contract workers in D.C.,” said Joseph Geevarghese, deputy director of the Change to Win labor group.“What’s significant is the symbolic effect. It’s a signal that could move into the private sector with employers like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. Workers will be more emboldened when they realize President Obama is on their side.”  Read more about the Good Jobs Nation campaign, which pressured the President to take executive action:

    Obama’s wage promise answers calls of growing movement - Washington Post

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  • Monday, January 27, 2014 SOTU: We Hope the President Will Take Action and Help Low-wage Workers

    With the State of the Union a day away, low-wage employees under federal contracts sent a clear message last week to President Obama. He must take the lead on income inequality by ensuring American workers are paid a living wage. For those working under federal contracts for low wages, he could sign an executive order.“Too many Americans work full-time for federal contractors and live in poverty,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

    Pentagon fast-food workers strike, call for higher wages - Washington Post

    Who would've thought that federal contractors could break the law and still be able to do business with the federal government. The federal contract problem isn't merely low wages and no benefits, some federally contracted companies are stealing wages and violating safety laws. Tomorrow, the President could take action to make sure the federal government is only doing business with companies that don't break the law.

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  • Thursday, January 16, 2014 Wage Theft Runs Rampant in Lower-level Food Court of Union Station; Walmart Illegally Disciplined and Fired Employees After Strikes and Protests for Better Pay.

    In the heart of Washington, D.C., Union Station is right under the nose of the federal government, but that doesn't mean laws are necessarily obeyed and enforced. Yesterday, 60 people working in the lower-level food court of Union Station filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor alleging wage theft. Some employers are accused of paying their workers well below the minimum wage.  

    “The most remarkable dodge I’ve ever seen”: Ellison blasts inaction on government-backed poverty - Salon

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  • Monday, January 13, 2014 America needs good paying jobs, NOW!

    It's a new year, and a good one for executive actions that will lift up low income workers under federal contracts in the U.S and overseas. President Obama must take these government contract issues into his own hands and lead the country by example. He can guarantee low wage federal contract workers and their families are taken care of by paying a living wage.

    Missing Executive Actions - New York Times

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