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Orgs push WH to go beyond minimum wage for contractors

The Biden administration, from its earliest days in January, made it known it is pushing to ensure not only will all federal employees get a $15-per-hour minimum wage, but so too will federal contractors.

On Jan. 22, the president issued an executive order directing all agencies to identify federal employee positions that earn less—and to come up with recommendations to raise those slots up. Government leaders were given 100 days to fulfill this first step.

Now, as noted in a wide-ranging column in the Washington Post, several pro-minimum wage and employee rights organizations backing that White House move are pushing for more.

According to the article, advocates—including the Center for American Progress Action Fund and others—are concerting pressure on the White House and Congress to not only secure a $15-an-hour floor on pay, but also provide federal contractors with a minimum wage indexed to inflation, “sufficient” benefits, greater protection for workers with disabilities, and stronger labor rights, among other improvements.

The piece cites a range of inadequacies in compensation given many federal contractors—with examples of folks paid around $12 or $13 per hour as private-sector contractors—some overworked and given few if any benefits.

The column emphasizes that companies that exploit employees in this way reap enormous illicit profits. It summarizes a blockbuster Government Accountability Office report from last year detailing thousands of Service Contract Act violations committed, in fact, by a majority of companies sampled that contracted with the federal government.

On the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, the Heritage Foundation as well as other conservative organizations, as noted in the piece, remain circumspect about the new push—and concerned that the federal government not implement policies and laws that result in taxpayers being forced to “overpay” for services.

Reader comments

Thu, Oct 7, 2021

If the government believes federal contractors should be paid a reasonable wage, why not raise the federal minimum for everyone? The Federal Minimum Wage is currently $7.25 per hour.

Wed, Apr 28, 2021

If you think the people who do the hard work and actually have to deal with angry jerks all day while there bosses pick their noses and watch porn in their comfy offices make enough money but can barely feed their families and pay their rent and are one doctor visit from living on the streets then you are sadly sheltered and misinformed about the real world.

Thu, Apr 15, 2021

Hear this Beltway and beyond Bandits. It is time to pay a fair wage and benefits. Finally the government is finding out the shadow work force often is the ones who get left out of many benefits including retirement, health insurance etc. The bandits of course will lay people off before they are eligible for retirement. Both democrats and republicans endorse such maltreatment.

Tue, Apr 13, 2021

Oh come on. These folks are overpaid as it is.

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