Senators turn up pressure on rail industry for paid sick leave

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 4:44 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) are standing with railroad workers. Thursday, on Capitol Hill, they called on the rail industry to provide paid sick days.

Senator Sanders said, “that industry can and must guarantee at least seven paid sick days to every rail worker. In America, in the year 2023, that is not a whole lot to ask.”

In recent federal negotiations to avoid a nationwide rail strike, attempts to guarantee paid sick days were blocked by a group of senators.

Senator Braun, who supported last year’s attempt to guarantee paid sick leave, said, “when I heard that you didn’t have a guaranteed sick day, I wondered, how could you get by with that? In this day and age? You don’t know when you’re going to get sick.”

The senators were also joined by union leaders who said they are actively negotiating with the rail companies that are not providing the paid leave. Sen. Sanders said he is confident legislation push the companies to offer the leave can make it to the Senate floor.