Apr 27, 2015
Last week, workers employed at the Senate’s cafeteria walked off their jobs demanding a living wage for their work. Last year, the cafeteria workers from the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, and employees from the Smithsonian museums, the Pentagon and other sites also waged a one-day strike demanding better pay and conditions.
Bertrand Olotora, a cook at the Senate cafeteria, very clearly stated the strikers’ reasons: “I am walking off my job because I want the presidential hopefuls to know that I live in poverty. Many senators canvas the country giving speeches about creating ‘opportunity’ for workers and helping our kids achieve the ‘American dream’ – most don’t seem to notice or care that workers in their own building are struggling to survive.
“I’m a single father and I only make $12 an hour; I had to take a second job at a grocery store to make ends meet. But even though I work seven days a week – putting in 70 hours between my two jobs – I can’t manage to pay the rent, buy school supplies for my kids or even put food on the table. I hate to admit it, but I have to use food stamps so that my kids don’t go to bed hungry.”
So, in the Congress of the richest and most powerful country of this earth, workers do not get a living wage. This is not surprising. After all, the main task of all these politicians is to keep workers’ wages and conditions down for the companies.