Protest held to call for paid sick days

Local

Protesters are calling for something to be done about paid sick days.

A silent protest was held on Monday.

“It is really unconscionable that people have to go to work sick, putting themselves at risk and the public at risk because they can’t afford to call out for work,” Ivette Alfonso, Pres. Of Statewide Board of Citizen Action of New York, said.

“Currently, only 40 percent of the workers in Albany County do not have a single paid sick day,” Working Families organizer Sara Palmer said. “This predominately affects lower income people.”

Dozens said it’s already tough for lower income workers to make a living with the salary they receive.

“Most retail stores – it’s $10.40 an hour,” Palmer said. “You can’t miss a day of work.”

“I think that everybody should have that as a benefit, especially in some of these fields, it’s very important,” Citizens Action member Thomas Goodfellow said.

Palmer said her past experience with low wages is why she wanted to speak up for those who couldn’t be at the protest.

“I, personally, have also been affected by something like this being a low wage worker most of my life,” she said.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said paid sick days were one of his main priorities when he made his State of the County Address.

“This is something that should be on the front burner for legislation and this body, and it should be a priority and this is something that they should dig into and really help the people that are the backbone of our community,” he said.

McCoy said he didn’t think it would take them that long to make a decision. He said they may get around to it in the fall.

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