Obama: 'I Decided' the Federal Government Should Pay a 'Fair Wage' of $10.10

'Higher wages are good for the bottom line -- I happen to believe the same thing'

"-- to lobby for special treatment for themselves, so one of Zingerman's owners, Paul Saginaw, flew to D.C. to lobby for his workers, to lobby for better treatment for workers through a higher minimum wage. That's the kind of folks who are running Zingerman's. Then afterwards, he held a sandwich summit here in Ann Arbor to help build support for Michigan's minimum wage going up. And Paul's point is simple, fair wages and higher profits are not mutually exclusive, they can go hand in hand. That's what Henry Ford understood. And Paul Zingerman opened his doors 32 years ago last month so he knows a little bit about business. But he and business owners like him believe that higher wages are good for the bottom line. I happen to believe the same thing, so, you know, I have decided several months ago that the federal government should follow their lead. And so I issued an executive order that requires federal contractors, folks who are doing business with the government, to pay their employees on new contracts a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour. It's the right thing to do. And I'm determined to do my part, to lift wages, improve take home pay any way I can. My attitude is, if you cook our troops dinners, if you wash their dishes, your country should pay you a living wage."

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