Durbin, other senators seek living wage for Senate employees
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and eight of his colleagues from the Democratic caucus sent a letter Monday to Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) urging contractors who do business with the U.S. Senate to pay their employees a living wage and provide fair health care and other benefits.
“The U.S. Congress should be working to improve the economic security of middle class families across the country," the senators wrote. "We should start right here in the U.S. Senate. We ask that you work with the sergeant at arms to require U.S. Senate contractors, including Restaurant Associates, the current food and restaurant service contractor, to provide a living wage, fair health care and other benefits, and that give employees a voice in their workplace.”
Charles Gladden, a worker at the Dirksen Senate Cafeteria, said no one who works at the Capitol should be homeless or have to rely on public assistance to provide for their families.
"I hope that senators from both parties realize that this problem can be fixed here in the Senate, and they think about how they can help workers in similar situations now and in the future," he said.
Joining Durbin in signing the letter were Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mark Warner (D-VA).