On the 21st of May, striking contracter employees at Union Station and their supporters picketed outside several times-and once marched through the station-to demand a living wage. All the Smithsonian buildings, the Ronald Reagan Building, and the Old Post Office saw walk-outs and pickets.
This was one of a number of labor actions in DC demanding that Obama issue an executive order to require that employees of Federal contractors and their subcontractors be paid a living wage. This is being defined as being $15 an hour plus benefits as of 2013 in DC.
Some of these workers are being paid as little as $8.75 an hour (This is what ICC Cleaning pays). As a result, they joined the series of one day strikes by fast food workers that are spreading across the US.
Another notable action was a banner drop and mass leafleting at the Air and Space Museum. There were so many fliers given out that children were making them into “fliers” of a different kind: paper airplanes. They were all over the place!
Still other job actions took place at the Ronald Reagan Building, the Old Post Office, and elsewhere.
At Union Station, the strike shut down the McDonalds as of 10 AM. At the Ronald Reagan Builidng, half the food court was shut down.
There are so many of these employees working for subcontractors TO Federal contractors that one study found the Federal government to be funding more low-wage jobs than McDonald’s and Wal-Mart combined.