Pope Francis’s Sept. 24 visit to the Capitol has become a rallying point for Democrats, Republicans — and, now, the workers who cook and clean for them.
More than 40 of the contract workers who have been seeking higher wages and better benefits are requesting a meeting with the pope, telling him in a letter Thursday “that even though we serve the wealthy and the powerful in the Congress, we earn so little that we live in utter poverty.”
The signers include Charles Gladden, a 63-year-old Senate cafeteria worker who was homeless for five years while working his low-wage job until his story was publicized earlier this year. They also include Sontia Bailey, a cashier at a Capitol coffee shop who has described working a second fast-food job that pays better than her Senate wage and having to return to work quickly after a recent miscarriage in order to make ends meet.
While his efforts to create a more transparent and welcoming Catholic Church have garnered the most attention, Francis has made the plight of the global poor the centerpiece of his papacy, and that theme is widely expected to be reflected in his address to Congress. “Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money,” he said in a July address in Bolivia. “Let us say no to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money rules, rather than service.”
SOURCE: Mike DeBonis
The Washington Post