WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a leading proponent of back pay for federal contract workers, today decried President Trump’s blocking of back pay for these workers and said she is already seeking other avenues to get them back pay. Norton has tried to get back pay for low- and mid-wage federal contract workers, and, in another bill, focused on the lowest wage contract workers—those who work in retail, custodial and security services. She argued that before the federal government contracted out these functions to save money on benefits and wages, these same jobs were done by civil servants like those who have now gotten back pay.
“I am relieved that our civil servants, who serve the federal government and the American people, will not face another shutdown,” Norton said. “However, we will not address the full harm done by the 35-day shutdown until federal contract workers are also fully compensated. I applaud the bipartisan and bicameral Members on the conference committee for doing what they could. Trump’s intervention to block back pay for federal contract workers showed no regard for fairness to them and deserves condemnation. Workers who could least afford furlough have yet to be made whole. The federal government does not even know the number of federal contract workers, something I am working to find out. There is still time before the next appropriations bill to do right by federal contract workers. We will not give up.”