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Obama orders govt contractors to offer paid sick leave to workers

Obama orders govt contractors to offer paid sick leave to workers

BOSTON: President Barack Obama on Monday ordered government contractors to offer their workers seven days of paid sick leave a year and, without naming them, knocked Republican presidential candidates for advocating what he said were anti-union policies.

Obama signed an executive order on sick leave during a flight on Air Force One to Boston, where he spoke at a union event. The White House said it would affect some 300,000 people.

Starting in 2017, workers on government contracts will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Contractors can offer more generous amounts at their discretion.




Speaking to a friendly crowd without a tie or jacket, Obama said such policies were beneficial to employers. “It helps with recruitment and retention,” he said.

Unions and organised labour are a key constituent to the Democratic Party whose support will be critical in the 2016 presidential election. Obama, who joked that he was glad not to be on the ballot next year, made thinly veiled references to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for anti-union remarks and policies. He did not name them by name.—Reuters

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2015

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