Crowley, Sánchez Urge President Obama to Include Federal Building Concession Workers in Executive Order to Raise Minimum Wage

February 11, 2014
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA), co-founder and co-chair of the Labor and Working Families Caucus, led 50 House Democrats in sending a letter to President Obama thanking him for his anticipated Executive Order to raise the minimum wage in the federal contracting process to $10.10 an hour and urging him to ensure the order includes concession workers in federal buildings, such as those working for fast food businesses.

“We agree with your comments during your State of the Union address that no one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. Yet, many of those employers operating concessions do not pay their workers enough so that families can make ends meet,” write the lawmakers in the letter.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out his plan to issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay service and construction employees at least $10.10 an hour. By raising the wages of concessions workers in federal buildings, the Administration will help to reduce poverty for full time workers in a variety of industries. This is important not just for the sake of those individual workers, but also because recent studies document that many fast food employees are the main wage earners in their families. In fact, more than 25% of Americans working in fast food restaurants are parents raising at least one child. The lawmakers also point out that raising the wages of concession workers in federal buildings will provide an economic savings to American taxpayers as increased wages will help to alleviate the reliance on public assistance programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps.

“American workers deserve a raise, not just to ensure the federal government isn’t depressing wages through the contracting process, but also for the health of our overall economy,” continues the letter.

The full text of the letter to President Obama is below.