After a year of strikes and protests there’s a victory for many federal workers demanding that their government pay them a living wage. President Obama in tonight’s State of the Union address will announce plans to sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay workers at least $10.10 an hour. The action affects workers currently earning less and will apply to new federal contracts. The federal government, according to a 2013 Demos report, employs more than 2 million workers earning less than $12 an hour, making it the nation’s largest low-wage labor employer.
The executive order is a limited enactment of a bill, which Obama hopes to get through Congress. The Harkin-Miller bill calls for an across the board minimum wage increase to $10.10.