For immediate release
March 14, 2020
UNITE HERE President Blasts GOP Leader McCarthy, Business Leaders for Shafting Workers on Paid Sick Leave
Statement from UNITE HERE President D. Taylor on passage of H.R. 6201, Coronavirus Response Agreement
“On behalf of nearly 300,000 UNITE HERE members, I applaud Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats for negotiating and passing this round of legislation to expand unemployment insurance, fund food access like WIC, require coverage of testing and care related to COVID-19, and increase funding for Medicaid. Swift and broad access to these programs is essential to address and prevent an economic and health care catastrophe among working people and the general public.
“At the same time, I am disgusted that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and a number of US business leaders actively worked to strip a real paid sick leave policy from this bill. During a health emergency such as this international pandemic, their actions are morally reprehensible and a national disgrace. No one should have to choose between paying the bills and their health.
“McCarthy, the Chamber, NAM and the 40 GOP members are playing politics at a time when there are literally life and death implications for people across the country. It’s time for them to move out of the way and do what’s right. It is ironic to note that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who decided to self-quarantine after coming in contact with the coronavirus, was himself out on on paid sick leave and wasn’t able to vote yesterday. If it is good enough for a member of Congress to miss work and get paid, you’d think it is good enough for every American worker to have the same benefit. These folks are foul hypocrites. We should already have a national policy on paid sick leave, and one must be included in the next House bill. The lives and livelihoods of millions of US workers depend on it.”