U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on minimum wage during an East Room event April 30, 2014 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama was joined by low-wage workers on stage to urge for an increase of minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty
Thu, Jun 12, 2014 2:30 PM EDT

A letter sent to the White House today from federal contract workers tells President Obama that his freshly ordered wage increase to $10.10 isn't good enough. The letter, signed by 216 self-identified worker leaders representing over 50 private companies, ratchets up worker demands in a federal policymaking environment where $10.10 appears to have gained acceptance as the new ceiling. This February, Obama signed an executive order requiring companies contracting with the federal government to increase workers' wages to $10.10. And while Senate Republicans this spring filibustered a bill naming $10.10 as the new federal minimum wage, Mitt Romney has urged Republicans to get behind it.

Federal contract workers' dissatisfaction with $10.10 comes amidst cities enacting higher increases. Seattle is still celebrating (or lamenting, depending on point of view) its increase to $15, the highest minimum wage in the nation. And copycat calls from other municipalities to implement the same are gaining ground.