DC COUNCIL THREATENS TO KILL PAID SICK AND SAFE DAYS BILL

MEDIA ADVISORYrnFor Immediate Release, rnFebruary 1st, 2008rnrnContact:rnMackenzie Baris (202) 213-6476 mbaris@dclabor.org rnrnDC Council Threatens to Kill Paid Sick and Safe Days BillrnBill would guarantee paid sick and safe days for all DC residentsrnrnWHO: Workers, community members, and advocates rnWHAT: Press Conference to demand action on Paid Sick and Safe DaysrnWHEN: Monday, Feb. 4th at NoonrnWHERE: Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Room 103rnrnWashington, DC- Just days before the DC Council is scheduled to vote on the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2007, several Councilmembers are considering tabling the measure. Workers and community leaders are holding a press conference to demand that the 11 Councilmembers who co-sponsored the legislation keep their promises to move the bill forward. The legislation would provide all workers in DC with a limited amount of paid time off to deal with the health care needs of themselves and their families, or to address a domestic violence situation. rnrnThe bill was co-introduced last May with the support of every member then serving on the Council. Since then, the bill received a hearing in June where over 30 people testified in support, and the council has received more than a thousand letters, calls, and postcards of support from D.C. residents, workers, and small businesses. rnrnNonetheless, despite nearly a year of deliberation and deep compromises to take into consideration the needs of small businesses, some Councilmembers seem to be buckling to the demands of large corporations, rather than listening to the needs of their weakest constituents-those who rely on their representatives rather than lobbyists to give them voice.rnrnThere are estimated to be over 200,000 workers in DC who do not get paid sick time, with high concentrations in low-wage food service, retail, and construction. With the threat of a recession looming, these workers will be the first to suffer and the most in need of this benefit. Furthermore, when workers lose income or their jobs due to illness or because they are seeking domestic violence-related services, they often turn to emergency assistance programs to pay bills-putting pressure on local government.rnrnOn Monday, workers, union leaders, service providers, policy experts and advocates will gather to speak to the urgency of the bill and call on Councilmembers to keep their promises to make the bill law. Speakers will include Joslyn Williams, President of the Metro Washington AFL-CIO and workers directly impacted by the legislation.rnrn### rnrn

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