Norton to Speak at Rally with Low-Wage Workers Protesting Walton Family’s Unfair Labor Practices, Tomorrow
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will speak at a rally, entitled “Low Wage Economy Exposed,” tomorrow, October 16, around 11:30 a.m., with low-wage workers outside of the AFL-CIO Headquarters at 815 16th St. NW, followed by a march to the Walton Family Foundation’s offices at 919 18th St NW. Norton will join United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 400, DC Jobs with Justice, OUR Walmart, the Center for Working Families, and local and regional elected officials as they urge the Walton Family to implement a minimum wage policy of $15 per hour and consistent full-time hours for workers at Wal-Marts around the country. Norton is an original cosponsor of H.R. 5159, the Schedules That Work Act, a bill that grants employees more control over on-call work requests by their employer, the location of their workplace, scheduling notifications by their employer, and fluctuations of work hours. Norton said this bill would keep employers from treating their employees with complete disregard for their personal circumstances.
“Tomorrow, Wal-Mart billionaires will hear from working families demanding a livable wage for Wal-Mart workers and workers everywhere,” Norton said. “At the very least, it is time that Wal-Mart gave its employees certainty and consistently about their work schedules and their lives.”
Along with fighting for private-sector workers, Norton has been a leader in fighting for improved wages for workers employed by federal contractors, speaking at their demonstrations and participating in Change to Win and Good Jobs Nation meetings with workers. As a result, President Obama issued an Executive Order that provides workplace protections for federal contract workers and requires prospective federal contractors and their subcontractors to disclose labor law violations in all of these same categories. The EO also provides assistance to companies to help them come into compliance, requires employers to provide their workers with a pay stub with wage and hours information, and simplifies contractor reporting by developing a single website for contractors to meet any reporting requirements required under the EO. The President also issued an EO in October that raised the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 per hour. This new minimum wage will apply to new contracts or replacements for expiring contracts that are awarded on or after January 1, 2015.
In July, just before introducing the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act, Norton spoke at a rally with hundreds of federal contract workers in front of Union Station. The ROSIE Act incentivizes federal government contractors to support collective bargaining, pay living wages and benefits, to stop wage theft, and avoid paying CEOs excessive salaries. Norton has called on the President to put the ROSIE Act into an EO. She also plans to introduce a bill when the House returns in November that would direct federal agencies to give points in federal contractor competition for businesses paying decent wages and benefits to their entire workforce and that permit their employees to unionize so that wages can become a private matter for bargaining between the contractor and its employees.