PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has vetoed a bill that would have mandated many businesses in the city give paid sick leave to workers.
Mayor Nutter says the economy factored into his decision.
“I care a great deal about paid sick leave, but I care even more about people getting paid. People need jobs and that’s our number one priority,” Nutter explained.
He says the bill would put Philadelphia at a competitive disadvantage.
“The paid sick leave bill, in our opinion, would put thousands of jobs at risk and discourage businesses from coming to the city of Philadelphia.”
Kathy Black, president of the Philadelphia Coalition For Labor Union Women, says the veto is a disappointment.
“He’s a Democrat, he’s supposed to be a mayor of the people, he’s supposed to stand for good jobs, not just any jobs, but jobs that provide living wages and support families. And jobs that don’t have paid sick leave just can’t meet that standard,” Black said.
Marianne Bellesorte, senior director of policy with PathWays, PA, says, “We are very disappointed that the mayor didn’t stand with 71 percent of Philadelphians who are in support of paid sick days.”
Nutter says he supports the idea, but, “This type of legislation that we’re talking about here is truly better suited at either the commonwealth level, so that it has a statewide reach, or even at a national level.”
But Black calls that a cop-out.
“That is the way progressive legislation typically passes in this country, it starts at the grassroots in the smaller venues and then eventually it moves to the states and hopefully the nation.”
Proponents of the paid sick leave bill say this won’t be the last we’ve heard about this issue.
Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060