Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was among those who joined federal workers in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday as they rallied to leverage the much-anticipated arrival of Pope Francis as a way to lift their ongoing campaign for better wages and treatment.
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As Ned Resnikoff reports for Al-Jazeera:
Sanders attended the rally and offerd his continued support to the workers’ campaign.
“In my view, when we talk about morality and when we talk about justice we have to understand that there is no justice when so few have so much, while so many have so little,” Sanders told the workers. “The time has come for President Obama and the U.S. Senate to end this injustice by requiring all contract workers to be paid at least $15 an hour with the right to form a union. The time has come to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.”
In a letter (pdf) addressed to Pope Francis, who arrives Tuesday for a five-day U.S. visit, the workers invited the head of the Catholic Church to meet with them so he could better understand the plight of workers who may “cook and clean at the U.S. Capitol and other federal buildings,” but remain trapped in “utter poverty” due to their low-wages and inability to form a union.
“We may be invisible to the wealthy and powerful we serve everyday—but we know we are worthy of a more abundant life as children of God,” the letter stated. “That’s why we are joining with other low-wage workers across America who are fighting to provide a decent life for ourselves and our families. As you prepare to meet with the Congress and President, we hope that you will also take a little time to meet with us and listen to our stories.”
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