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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.

NPR

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

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