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Flu with those fries? ALEC pushes for repeal of paid sick days

From PR Watch:


Will ALEC bring Cyrus the Virus back to Seattle? (photo: Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce)

Will Philadelphia‘s and Seattle‘s new paid sick leave ordinances be overridden by their states? Or will the states back them up, as Connecticut has? If the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has any say in the matter, Pennsylvania and Washington State should override the city ordinances as Wisconsin has done.

ALEC is the corporate-funded bill mill where right-wing legislators and corporate members craft, then vote to approve, “model legislation” that mostly benefits the corporate bottom line. ALEC’s 2011 Annual Meeting was held in New Orleans in August.

According to materials obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, paid sick leave was a hot topic on this year’s agenda of corporations and their allied politicians. “Paid family medical leave” was the only topic of discussion by the Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, according to the meeting minutes.

Meeting attendees were given complete copies of Wisconsin’s 2011 Senate Bill 23 (now Wisconsin Act 16), as a model for state override. They were also handed a target list and map of state and local paid sick leave policies prepared by ALEC member, the National Restaurant Association. In Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association lobbied for SB 23 to repeal the sick leave ordinance, as did the the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the local branch of the the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an ALEC member. The effect of the repeal will be more sick workers at work, making others ill, in order to save or increase profits by corporations.

Not surprisingly, ALEC’s Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee is co-chaired by YUM! Brands, Inc., which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Fast food companies have fought paid sick leave across the country.

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