Government contractors from around Washington, D.C., held a one-day strike Thursday to urge President Obama to raise the minimum wage to $15 for federal employees.
Fearing the Republican-controlled Congress won’t act, the workers pressed Obama to move forward on his own with an executive order. In February, Obama used his executive authority to boost the minimum wage for contract workers to $10.10.
Hundreds of workers from the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and Smithsonian Institution descended on Capitol Hill, where they joined Democratic members of Congress for a rally organized by Good Jobs Nation, a labor campaign for low-wage workers.
“Do you want a minimum marriage? Do you want a minimum coat in the winter time?” asked Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., while addressing the crowd. He added, “$10.10 is not enough.”
Speaking to The Daily Signal, many workers suggested $15 or more as an appropriate minimum wage.
According to James Sherk, a senior policy analyst in labor economics for The Heritage Foundation, boosting the minimum wage any further would create unintended consequences.
“The money for raising the minimum wage has to come from somewhere,” Sherk told The Daily Signal. “Proponents of this are well-intentioned, but the consequences would be higher prices and fewer jobs for the unskilled workers who need them most to get ahead.”
Alex Anderson contributed to this report.