We’re closer than we’ve ever been to ensuring that all workers have paid sick days, but big corporations like Comcast are standing in the way. The Philadelphia city council is getting ready to vote on a bill guaranteeing sick days to all the workers in the city, and Comcast is lobbying furiously against it.
This battle will resonate far beyond Philadelphia. There’s a nationwide movement to win sick days for all, and cities and states around the country are considering bills requiring employers to give their workers sick days. These bills are overwhelmingly popular -- more than 75 percent of Americans support sick days for all. The only thing standing in the way is the lobbying muscle of big business.
We need to show corporations that there are consequences to lobbying against workers’ rights and public health!
Tell Comcast: Stop lobbying against sick days in Philadelphia.
Four out of ten workers in the United States don’t have paid sick days. That’s more than 44 million people, including most employees in restaurants, hotels, and child care centers. The lack of sick days isn’t just unfair to workers. Workers who can’t take paid time off to recover are much more likely to come to work sick, and when they do, they can easily spread infectious diseases. The situation is particularly bad in the food industry -- a study of norovirus, a highly contagious stomach bug, by the Center for Disease Control found that up to 80 percent of outbreaks could be traced to a sick food worker.
Meanwhile, many parents use sick days to stay home and care for sick children. But without paid sick days, parents are much more likely to send a sick kid to school, endangering other children’s health.
Employers like Comcast say that these laws will get in the way of job creation, but there’s just no evidence to back that claim up. Cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. already have sick days laws, and their economies are booming. And experts say that offering paid sick days is good for business because it improves worker productivity and reduces turnover.
Over 70,000 members of the SumOfUs.org community have already demanded that Darden, the nation’s largest full-service restaurant company, give its workers paid sick days. But if we can stop big companies like Comcast from burying these new laws with corporate cash, then we can win sick days for all workers.
Speak out now to stop the corporate war on paid sick days legislation.
Comcast is opposing sick days because it has its headquarters in Philadelphia and employs thousands of workers in the city. But Comcast is depending on killing this bill quietly, without consumers noticing. Comcast is very sensitive to consumer opinion -- it was one of the first companies to respond to individual tweets from their customers -- and it definitely doesn’t want to deal with a flare up of negative publicity. If we can get more than 50,000 signatures, local grassroots organizers from the Media Mobilizing Project will deliver the petition to Comcast's Philadelphia headquarters. And you can bet that they'll do an awesome job creating a PR nightmare for Comcast.
Workers rights and public health are under attack cross America. Big corporations can easily outspend the community groups fighting for sick days, especially at the local level, so they’ve had a huge political advantage. But if we can mobilize consumers all over the country to speak out, companies like Comcast will have to think twice before meddling in local politics.
Quick Facts about paid sick days, The National Partnership for Women and Families
Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Comcast Lobbying Against Paid Sick Leave Bill, Philadelphia Weekly, November 26, 2012