Activists Protest Federal Minimum Wage, Saying Increase Doesn't Cut It | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Activists Protest Federal Minimum Wage, Saying Increase Doesn't Cut It

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Federal-contractor employees at Union Station attempted to disrupt business as usual this morning by shutting down traffic outside the station.

Last winter President Obama signed an executive order that will boost federal contractor wages. When that kicks in next year their minimum hourly pay is set to rise from $7.25 to $10.10.

A pastor at Mt. Rainier Christian Church in Maryland, Brian Adams says the nearly $3 wage increase won't be enough for people like single mothers. "We want the government to be a leader in raising wages, instead of the government following behind," he said. "But the government can raise wages, and then hopefully the public will follow."

Reverend Sekinah Hamlin, director of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, says she was happy to receive a $50 fine for blocking traffic if that draws attention to the working poor. "If we need to disrupt things—what I would call moral obedience, some may call civil disobedience—then we'll do so. So I'm honored to be able to do that and to stand with these workers," she said.

Labor activists are coordinating strikes at the Pentagon, Smithsonian museums and the Ronald Reagan Building.

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