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Group That Helped Kill NYC's Paid Sick Leave Bill Now Fighting Living Wage Law
Lauren Kelley

March 24, 2011
View the Original Article

Here at the Poverty in America blog, we've recently drawn comparisons between the paid sick leave bill that was sadly defeated in the New York City Council last year and the living wage law that's being floated in the council right now. Namely, we've been noting that Council Speaker Christine Quinn declined to endorse the paid sick leave bill, and has now similarly refused to throw her support behind the living wage bill.

Quinn's silence isn't random; she's declined to take a position on either bill because of pressure from the city's business interests. One of the main business groups that spoke out against paid sick leave was the 5 Boro Chamber Alliance, a group of chambers of congress from around the city. And guess who's fighting the living wage bill now?

You guessed it.

Crain's New York reports:

"The business coalition that killed paid sick-days legislation last year has now set its sights on defeating a proposal that would require jobs resulting from city-subsidized projects to pay at least $10 an hour, plus benefits."

"The 5 Boro Chamber Alliance, which formed in 2009 to fight the sick days measure, is meeting next week to orchestrate opposition to the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, which would require employers at projects that received $100,000 or more in subsidies to pay a living wage."

"Plans are in the works to request meetings with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has yet to take a position on the measure, and the bill's sponsors to outline small business' stance. The group convinced Ms. Quinn last year that the sick days bill would have devastated small businesses."

The 5 Boro Chamber Alliance is clearly a powerful lobby that has the power to influence legislation. But don't let that alliance be the loudest voice in this debate. Sign our petition, and tell Speaker Quinn that you want her to do what's right for New York City workers, not special interests.