Merkley Applauds New Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10. Senator Merkley called on the President late last year to sign this executive order. 

“Raising the minimum wage lifts hard-working people out of poverty. I thank the President for taking this important step for the employees of federal contractors. Now Congress must step up and raise the wage for all workers, because no one should have to raise a family in poverty.” 

The new minimum wage for employees of federal contractors will go into effect January 1, 2015. Around 60 percent of workers who would benefit from a higher minimum wage are women and fewer than 20 percent are teenagers.  The value of the minimum wage has fallen by a third since it was instituted in 1968. Senator Merkley is a cosponsor of a bill that would raise the minimum wage for all workers.