Calling for a Good Jobs Executive Order

The Rev. Michael Livingston |

Over the last year, I have marched with federal contract workers who clean and serve food at federal buildings like the Smithsonian Museums and Zoo, the Pentagon, Union Station and the Reagan building. These courageous workers have gone on strike NINE TIMES to demand living wages and the right to form a union. In response, the President announced at the State of the Union that he is raising the pay of low-wage federal contract workers to $10.10 by Executive Order.

Brothers and sisters, our President has taken a step towards greater economic justice, but $10.10 is the least he could do for the least among us. Workers need more than a Minimum Wage Executive Order, they need a Good Jobs Executive Order!

At the State of the Union, when the President announced the $10.10 Executive Order, he held up Costco as an example of a good American company. The president said "profitable corporations like Costco see higher wages as the smart way to boost productivity and reduce turnover. We should too."

We agree, Mr. President!

Costco also allows its workers to bargain collectively without interference. It provides living wages and benefits, and doesn't steal wages from workers. Costco's does not pay its top executives immorally excessive salaries. If Costco can create good jobs and good profits, so can companies that do business with the U.S. Government.

A Good Jobs Executive Order that makes sure the U.S. Government only did business with companies that follow Costco's business model would be TRANSFORMATIONAL! A Demos report estimates that a Good Jobs Executive Order would put more than 20 million Americans on the path to middle class.