For Immediate Release

NEWS: Rep. Bowman and Sen. Sanders Lead Letter to Biden Asking for Executive Action to Provide Rail Workers with 7 Days Paid Sick Leave

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) led a letter to President Biden, joined by Reps. Tlaib, Payne, Ocasio-Cortez, Bush, and more than 70 other lawmakers calling for executive action to guarantee seven days of paid sick leave to rail workers. After last week’s Congressional intervention to resolve outstanding contract disputes in the rail industry, these essential workers still do not have a single day of paid sick leave. 

“Guaranteeing seven paid sick days to rail workers would cost the industry a grand total of $321 million – less than two percent of their annual profits,” the members said. “If the rail industry can afford to spend $25.5 billion in stock buybacks and dividends to enrich their wealthy shareholders, they can afford to treat their workers with the respect and the dignity that they deserve. As President, you and your administration have a number of tools at your disposal to make sure rail workers are guaranteed paid sick leave. For example, in 2015, President Obama signed an executive order establishing paid sick leave for Federal contractors which ultimately did not cover rail carriers despite the fact that the Federal Government has hundreds of contracts with freight rail carriers. You can and you must expand this executive order.”

“The Federal Government should not have interfered with the rail bargaining process in the first place. But given that Congress had the votes to intervene, at the very least we should have met the rail workers’ demand for basic paid sick leave. President Biden has several options for righting this wrong, including an executive order to include rail workers in paid sick time protections for Federal contractors,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16). “Even though most Senate Republicans and Senator Manchin do not believe rail workers have human rights, this fight is far from over. We will continue to hold those who are anti-union and anti-worker accountable, and push the President to hold them accountable by implementing this executive order. Rail workers deserve paid leave, it’s as simple as that, and President Biden can make it happen even without Congress or the rail barons.” 

To read the full letter please click here.

Co-leads of this letter include: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), and Cori Bush (D-Mo.)

Cco-signers of this letter include: Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); and Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Al Green (D-Texas), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Henry Johnson (D-Ga.), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Eleanor Norton (D-D.C.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Mary Scanlon (D-Pa.), Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Susan Wild (D-Pa.).