Senate Cafeteria Cook Goes On Strike To Shine Light On Miserable Pay
Credit: CBC Canada
April 23, 2015

This is really a travesty. This guy cooks for Senators every day and still has to have a second job. Even with that, he can't buy food without SNAP assistance.

Bertrand Olotara is a cook for the United States Senate. And he's on strike.

Every day, I serve food to some of the most powerful people on earth, including many of the senators who are running for president: I’m a cook for the federal contractor that runs the US Senate cafeteria. But today, they’ll have to get their meals from someone else’s hands, because I’m on strike.

I am walking off my job because I want the presidential hopefuls to know that I live in poverty. Many senators canvas the country giving speeches about creating “opportunity” for workers and helping our kids achieve the “American dream” – most don’t seem to notice or care that workers in their own building are struggling to survive.

I’m a single father and I only make $12 an hour; I had to take a second job at a grocery store to make ends meet. But even though I work seven days a week – putting in 70 hours between my two jobs – I can’t manage to pay the rent, buy school supplies for my kids or even put food on the table. I hate to admit it, but I have to use food stamps so that my kids don’t go to bed hungry.

I’ve done everything that politicians say you need to do to get ahead and stay ahead: I work hard and play by the rules; I even graduated from college and worked as a substitute teacher for five years. But I got laid-off and I now I’m stuck trying to make ends meet with dead-end service jobs.

American voters should ask themselves: if presidential candidates won’t help the workers who serve them every day, will they really help the millions of low-wage American workers who they don’t know or see? I’m a Bible-believing Christian, just like a lot of the candidates. Scripture says to “Love your neighbor” and “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you”. It’s a shame too few candidates follow the guidance of the book in which they say they believe.

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