Workers Without Paid Sick Days Speak Out at Mayor’s Task Force on Paid Sick Leave
For more information contact Jesse Bacon at jbacon AT workingfamilies.org
PHILADELPHIA–The Mayors’ Task Force on Paid Sick Leave met on August 6 for its one day of taking public testimony. Low wage workers came to speak out about their experiences working without paid sick days. 15 low wage workers and their supporters spoke, out of 18 total speakers.
The testimony featured such voices as Shymara Jones, an airport and fast food worker; Dawn Walton, a restaurant worker; and Angela Owens, a home health care worker. These low wage workers’ testimony, none of whom have paid sick leave, were coordinated by Pennsylvania Working Families, a new political organization fighting for a better life for working class and middle class Pennsylvanians, along with allied organizations like Action United, Fight for Philly, SEIU, and the fast food workers’ movement.
“I work every single day. My son, Jaden, is almost two, and to give him a good life, I can’t afford to take a day off. That means I also can’t afford to get sick. What my family needs,—along with everyone elses—is the opportunity to stay home when we’re sick, and not risk falling behind on rent and bills, or losing my job.” Shymara Jones, Airport and Fast Food Worker
“Making people go to work sick isn’t healthy and it isn’t fair. When we take care of our workers by giving them the time they need to heal, we take care of our entire city.”
Kati Sipp, Director of PA Working Families
“For almost 20 years, I worked as a cashier. When I got sick, I had to work because I couldn’t afford to go a day without getting paid. I’m sure that I’ve passed cold & flu germs on to hundreds of Philadelphians. No one should have to work while sick. It’s not good for them or the people that they work with.” PA Working Family member Jennifer, submitted online.
Pennsylvania Working Families has collected signatures from more than 4000 Philly residents in support of paid sick leave.