Bernie Sanders rallies with striking Capitol workers in the rain

Bernie Sanders rallies with striking Capitol workers in the rain
© Greg Nash

From underneath an umbrella, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population Overnight Health Care: Medicaid enrollment reaches new high | White House gives allocation plan for 55M doses | Schumer backs dental, vision, hearing in Medicare Schumer backing plan to add dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday cheered on dozens of striking Senate cafeteria workers as rain poured down.

“In America, today what we are seeing is the richest people becoming richer, and almost everybody else becoming poorer,” said Sanders, casting away the umbrella so he could motion with both arms toward the crowd.


“There are a number of senators who get served by people right here, and they should know that if you are serving them, they have got to start serving you,” he continued.

The Senate cafeteria workers are demanding higher wages from the federal contractor that employs them. They also want the right to form a union.

Their strike was coordinated with rallies by fast food workers in hundreds of cities around the country who are demanding hourly wages of at least $15.

It is the largest fast food strike to date, according to union organizers.

The nationwide protests are timed to pressure Republicans to address the issue during Tuesday night’s GOP presidential debate.

The Senate cafeteria workers blame lawmakers for doing business with a company that pays what they consider low wages.

Sanders was the first Democratic presidential candidate to support the Senate workers in their effort to raise the minimum wage to $15. He has introduced legislation in response to those demands, though it is unlikely to pass in a Republican-controlled Congress.

"What we are saying is 'enough is enough,' ” Sanders said. "Workers who work for the United States government deserve the right to raise their children in security. They deserve the right to earn enough to live in a decent apartment or a decent house. They deserve the right to bargain collectively."