Credo Action

Stand with low-wage workers: Demand shutdown back pay

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Petition to Congress:

"Follow the lead of Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Tina Smith and provide back pay to low-wage federal contractors who went without pay during Trump's government shutdown in upcoming federal appropriations."

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    Stand with low-wage workers: Demand shutdown back pay

    They serve food, clean floors and provide security at government buildings. And even though Trump's racist shutdown is over, they never got paid for their work.

    Trump threatened their ability to afford medicine, make rent or put food on the table – all in pursuit of his racist border wall. Spending deals have since helped federal employees, but low-wage workers who are employees of companies that receive federal contracts never saw any shutdown back pay from the federal government.1

    Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Tina Smith have not forgotten these workers, and neither should we.2 They need our help to force Congress to deliver back pay for the essential and yet too often overlooked people who keep government running.

    Stand with low-wage workers: Demand shutdown back pay.

    Even as the shutdown fades from Washington's memory, we need to keep fighting to make sure these workers receive the pay they are owed. During the shutdown, Congress approved back pay for around 800,000 federal workers, but they left out federal contractors, who often work in low-wage jobs as security guards, cafeteria workers or janitors.

    The Trump shutdown was the longest in modern history. And the basic costs of daily life did not disappear because Trump threw a racist temper tantrum to try to get his wall. The longer it takes for back pay to arrive, the more people risk missing payments on cars, homes, insurance or student loans – not to mention gas, water, electricity and food.

    Many who faced foreclosure or eviction turned to online sites like GoFundMe in desperation. Just because new outrages – from Trump's attacks on migrants to the impeachment referral from Robert Mueller – dominate headlines does not mean their situation improved.

    We cannot let Washington forget the workers who keep us safe, keep us fed, clean the floors and keep America moving. Trump and his Republican puppets may not care about them, but Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Tina Smith introduced bills to protect them, and Rep. Pressley led dozens of House lawmakers in an effort to convince appropriators to designate funds for unpaid workers.3 We must continue the drumbeat until federal contractors receive the pay they are owed.

    Stand with low-wage workers: Demand shutdown back pay.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Sen. Tina Smith and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, "Federal contractors aren’t getting back pay. Our bill could change that." The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, "Rep. Pressley and 47 House Members Urge Appropriators to Include Back Pay for Federal Contract Workers in Government Funding Legislation," March 15, 2019.