Saturday, March 14, 2020

Americans Need Sick Leave

27 million Americans, don’t have health insurance.People like those  can’t afford to miss work due to sickness, let alone treat what’s wrong with them when there’s not a global pandemic. What will they do if they become infected by Covid-19? How can they follow the CDC’s recommendations to stay home and seek medical care if they think the have contracted the coronavirus

As Covid-19 cases increase across the USA, trade unions call for common-sense and demand paid sick-leave and free healthcare. Every American labor union has members working in jobs that expose them to the virus  or to its economic side-effects such as the lack of customers and lost of trade. Workers are being sent home without pay, others laid off. The tourist and travel industries  suffering from declining custom are letting people go.

Unions are calling for immediate paid sick leave policies, with some targeting individual companies where union members work, while others aim for the government to create a national paid sick leave program to bring the United States in line with the standards of the developed world.Teacher’s unions seek promise that teachers and other staff would not lose any pay in the event of shut-downs of the school system.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, higher-earning wage workers are “more than three times as likely to have access to paid sick leave as the lowest paid workers.” But only 30% of the lowest paid workers—who are more likely to have contact with the public in restaurants, daycares and retail outlets—get paid sick leave.Over half of private-sector workers in leisure and hospitality do not have access to paid sick days. Within that sector, 55% of workers in accommodation and food services do not have access to paid sick days. These are those workers who work with the elderly and the sick. These are the jobs where working from home is not an option.

The Republicans just blocked an emergency paid sick leave bill from advancing in the Senate due to the perceived costs on businesses yet due to the price war in the oil and gas the White House is organising a bail-out.The Democratic Party is not much better. If president Joe Biden would veto Medicare for All—a universal, single-payer healthcare program—because it’s too expensive.

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