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Opinion: Lawmakers urged to endorse bill for paid sick days

There is something going on at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier that Vermonters need to pay attention to. The House bill to grant paid sick days (H.208) to Vermont workers has stalled because our representatives are apparently more interested in representing the retailers, the grocers and the Chamber of Commerce than in acting in the interest of the workers of this state, who voted them into office.
Up to 106,000 workers in Vermont are employed in situations where paid sick leave is not granted. Most of these workers are in minimum- or low-wage jobs, and most of them are women, many of whom are single mothers. If they get sick, or if their child gets sick, they cannot take a day from work without losing that day’s pay, or perhaps even losing the job.
In Vermont, we believe in human dignity and respect, and 72 percent of Vermonters believe all workers, especially those in minimum-wage jobs, should have paid sick days. We need to demand that our legislators step up and have the courage and the compassion to make the right choice. They need to be responsible to their constituents and to the workers of Vermont.
Call your representative. You can leave a message by calling 800-322-5616 or 802-828-2228, the office of the sergeant-at-arms in the Statehouse, and your message will be taken down and presented to your representative. Ask your representative to support paid sick days and pass the bill this year.
Millard Cox
Ripton

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