Local 32BJ Urges City Council to Pass Sick Leave Bill on March 4th

Washington, DC –Local 32BJ SEIU is engaging more than 12,000 District residents as part of a campaign to pass the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2007 in the D.C. City Council. Despite initial strong support for the bill, opponents of the bill were just one vote shy of indefinitely delaying the bill’s passage on February 5th.

“City Council Members have an opportunity to make life easier for 200,000 struggling workers,” said Jaime Contreras, Local 32BJ Capitol Area Director. “At a cost of just pennies a day, businesses can provide workers the paid sick and safe leave they sorely need. We trust Council Members will put working families ahead of corporate interests.”

As part of the campaign, 9,000 Local 32BJ members in the District and 4,000 voters in Wards 4, 5 and 6 will receive a mailing from the union on Friday urging them to tell their Council Member to vote for the bill. Local 32BJ members are also sending postcards to City Council Members in support of the bill. On Monday, the union will run an ad featuring Raquel Mack, a private security officer and single mother who receives no paid sick leave from her employer.

Additionally, Contreras sent City Council Members a letter on behalf of Local 32BJ members thanking them for supporting working families and urging them to resist corporate pressure to kill the bill.

Under the bill, companies with 100 or more employees would provide up to seven paid sick and safe days. The landmark legislation would also be the first in the country to provide safe days for absences related to domestic violence or sexual abuse.

Council Members Mendelson, Kwame Brown, Jim Graham, Mary Cheh, Harry Thomas, Jr., and Marion Barry co-introduced the bill in May 2007, along with co-sponsors Chairman Vincent Gray, Council Members David Catania, Carol Schwartz, Jack Evans and Tommy Wells.

With more than 95,000 members in six states, including more than 9,000 in the Washington, D.C. area, Local 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.

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