SUSAN COLLINS REJECTED UNIVERSAL PAID LEAVE, LEAVING MILLIONS AT RISK OF CORONAVIRUS SPREAD AND EXPOSURE
Portland, MAINE – Yesterday, grocery, delivery, and warehouse workers announced plans to strike as they face the choice of caring for themselves and their families, or going without a paycheck because they were left out of the limited paid sick leave policies demanded by Senator Susan Collins, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and their Republican colleagues in order to pass the COVID-19 stimulus bill. Today 16 Counties Coalition released a new fact sheet detailing how Senator Collins has failed working Mainers by rejecting the universal paid sick leave proposal proposed by Senate Democrats. Senator Collins yet again decided to shield her corporate interests from accountability, instead of putting working Mainers first.
“Forcing sick people to work by restricting paid leave puts all of us at further public health risk. We need Susan Collins to protect Mainers whose jobs and health are at stake because of this crisis,” said Willy Ritch, executive director of 16 Counties Coalition. “Mainers shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and their own health.”
While ensuring that 75% of private sector workers aren’t guaranteed essential benefits, Republicans provided billions in bailouts for corporations and let them off the hook for providing adequate safety measures like paid sick leave and personal protective equipment for their employees. By excluding the biggest and smallest businesses around the country, Senate Republicans refused to make sure all are protected from the coronavirus. This is part of a clear pattern of Collins and McConnell listening to corporate special interests over Mainers and the American people.
The PAID Leave Act proposed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as an amendment to the House-passed package would have provided guaranteed emergency sick leave, 12 weeks of family and medical leave, and support for businesses hurt by this crisis. Every Republican Senator voted against it, leaving millions without a safety net.
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About the 16 Counties Coalition The 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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