The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Bowman-led Initiative to Guarantee Seven Paid Sick Days for Rail Workers Passes the House


The House today passed a resolution guaranteeing seven paid sick days to rail workers. The passage comes after Rep. Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (D-NY) pushed Democratic leadership to add seven paid sick days to the rail workers' contract. Rep. Bowman yesterday submitted an amendment to the House Committee on Rules to add seven paid sick days to H.J. Res. 100 for every rail worker subject to the recent contract disputes.

Rep. Bowman released the following statement in response:

"Congress should never use its power to force rail workers' hands into a contract that isn't in their best interest or to undermine their power to demand what they deserve. We must always stand up for people over profit and fairness over expediency. Every single worker in America needs paid sick leave, including our invaluable rail workers. Anything other than that is unacceptable. I could not in good conscience vote for a bill that doesn't give rail workers the paid leave they deserve. This is why I submitted an amendment to the House Committee on Rules to add seven paid sick days to the rail workers contract yesterday, and last night, Speaker Pelosi sent an email letting us know we'll be voting to add seven paid sick days to the contract. Today, the House passed that resolution.

"Rail workers have been fighting for paid sick leave for over 52 years, and Congress is finally helping them win their fight. Across the country large corporations continue to take advantage of their workers, and railroads are no exception. The people most central to our economic stability are the people we historically feel most justified to exploit, but ensuring our workers have basic human rights is necessary for economic justice and progress. Providing just seven days of paid sick leave to every rail worker would only cost $0.01 of every dollar of the railroads' record profits. Yet, their current contract is completely inadequate and inhumane. Rail workers can't schedule getting the flu on a Tuesday 30 days in advance. It's time we respect the workers that ensure our country stays afloat. I'm proud to be able to let rail workers know we are fighting for them to finally have paid sick leave. We cannot continue to allow railroads and other corporations to get away with exploiting their workers to further their greed and their profits. The Senate must follow suit and guarantee paid sick leave. This is common sense - it should not be controversial. It's time for rail workers to be respected for holding our country together and I will continue to fight in solidarity with them and all workers."

Jamaal Anthony Bowman is an American politician and educator serving as the U.S. representative for New York's 16th congressional district since 2021.

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