Income inequality fact of life for food servers – even in the Capital

by Rachel Baker on May 5, 2015

Doesn’t it seem like maybe in one of the most important buildings in the country, people would be getting at least a living wage?

In Congress, income inequality fact of life for food servers

“People are much nicer” in the Capitol, Tesfahun said. But he said he generally has no work or pay when Congress is out of session, and he sometimes collects unemployment benefits. The Senate is scheduled to be in recess 13 weeks this year.

Both Bailey and Tesfahun said they once received a pay raise of 3 cents an hour.

In Congress and the 2016 presidential race, candidates in both parties promise to help U.S. workers narrow the gap with high earners. The Capitol’s food workers – many of whom can’t afford cars, let alone vacations – are prime examples of people without college degrees who have fallen far behind in the high-tech global economy.

Capitol food workers with at least seven years’ experience fare better than Bailey and Tesfahun, making about $16 or $17 an hour. But even one of those, cook Shawnee Ellis, said she does catering on the side because “I have to make extra money” to pay her bills.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter; or you can follow her at The Crafty Veteran on Bloglovin

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