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Capitol food workers bring income inequality to Congress’ steps

By Bridget Bowman

“Capitol workers have been working behind the scenes to push their issues. One Senate worker, who asked not to be identified, said a handful of workers have met with Rules Committee staff four or five times in recent months to push to have a voice in the negotiations.  ‘We go in and we voice our opinion and let them know what we want, what we’re looking for,’ the worker told CQ Roll Call. ‘And letting them know that we need a seat at the table too, because Restaurant Associates have their people, Rules have their people, but no one from the restaurant is there.’  The worker said staffers listened and took notes when workers expressed the need for ‘a livable wage” and a seat at the negotiating table.’ The worker said staffers noted they are ‘not trying to get into the running of the cafeteria,’ but staffers also said, ‘They’re trying, they’re working on issues, trying to make some things right for employees downstairs in the cafeteria.’  But as negotiations continue, some workers say they are left in the dark about what happens next. ‘I just know that they’re up for renegotiation and that’s it – They really don’t touch bases with workers at all.’’

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