Workers Rally for Paid Sick Leave

NEW ORLEANS — Unleash Local, a coalition fighting a state ban on local paid leave laws, released the following press release about a recent rally:

From Shreveport to New Orleans, Louisiana organizers and workers tuned in for a digital rally today to demand local control of paid sick leave policies. Rally-goers chanted from their living rooms in support of a bipartisan bill backed by the Unleash Local coalition. The legislation would lift the state ban on local labor laws, allowing municipalities to protect their communities from COVID-19 by ensuring that sick workers can stay home. 

A bipartisan group of nearly 40 members of the Louisiana House of Representatives have already expressed support for the bill with similar support expected in the State Senate. Paid sick leave is proven to reduce the spread of infectious diseases and with one of the highest per capita incidences of COVID-19 in the country, Louisiana’s municipalities want the autonomy to create their own responsive and preventative paid leave policies. A video message from New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno assured rally participants of her, “full support to make sure this legislation gets through the house and senate and eventually get signed by John Bel Edwards.” 

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This message could not come too soon. As unemployment rates soar across the state, it’s low wage workers who are scrambling to make ends meet. Said Caleb Holmes, a recently laid-off retail worker, “I’m sitting here at home not making money. I’m getting the notice that the rent is due. It’s time we work for the people who have worked their whole lives. If we can bail out big banks, we can make sure workers can cover their rent and can afford medicine.”

The bill is expected to be filed in the Louisiana House of Representatives before the legislature reconvenes at the end of the month.

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