Coalition Will Put Paid Sick Leave Before Council

Greg Casar present as Work Strong Austin outlines initial policy

The Work Strong Austin coalition outside of the Workers Defense Project office in East Austin on Monday
The Work Strong Austin coalition outside of the Workers Defense Project office in East Austin on Monday (Photo by Joseph Caterine)

On Monday (Labor Day), a new coalition of local organizations called Work Strong Austin announced its campaign to push for a city ordinance that would guarantee paid sick leave for Austin workers.

Alongside members of groups like the Workers Defense Project, Fight for $15, and UNITE HERE, Council Member Greg Casar said now is the right moment for Austin to join the 30 other U.S. cities that had already passed similar measures. “In the state of Texas, we know the struggle for equality and justice is a really tough road,” he said. “But this isn’t just about defending ourselves from attacks. It is our time to not just be a place of resistance, but a city of progress.”

Casar plans to introduce a resolution at the end of the month seeking paid sick leave for as many people working in Austin as possible (his office said the policy’s details will get shaken out during its drafting), with hopes of getting a measure passed by next February. Speaking beforehand, restaurant worker and Fight for $15 member Julius Casey said that without such an ordinance, many workers have often needed to choose between keeping their job and their own health.

“Those are choices we shouldn’t have to make,” he said.

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Greg Casar, Julius Casey, Workers Defense Project, Fight for $15, UniteHERE

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