Rupert Murdoch Wants You To Go To Work Sick

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Goodness, what has Rupert Murdoch's knickers in such a twist?

It was this op-ed in the New York Times that has the temerity to *gasp* suggest that it is good policy to guarantee workers paid sick leave:

More than 40 million American workers get no paid sick leave. They have to work when ill or take unpaid sick days, which can lead to financial hardship, or, worse, dismissal. The best way to address this workplace and public health problem is with a national law requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave — a normal benefit for workers in at least 145 countries.

But since there is little hope for such progress anytime soon in Washington, New York City Council members are taking up the cause. At least 36 of 50 council members support a proposed city law that would require sick leave for more than 1.2 million workers. Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, has refused to bring a bill to the floor, however.

She argues that the timing is bad given the weak economy and that the benefit could increase compensation costs for businesses by an average of 1.5 percent, which in her view would hurt smaller companies to the point of driving them out of business or out of the city. Some business leaders say that companies will cut jobs if even a few days of sick leave are required.

Little evidence to support such fears has been seen in San Francisco, the District of Columbia and the state of Connecticut, which require many businesses to provide the benefit. There are also economic benefits — lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and reduced job loss for workers. But Ms. Quinn, who says she supports paid sick days in principle, does not want to consider a citywide sick-leave law until the economy is stronger.

Gracious me, the nerve of those soshulists at the Times! How dare they suggest that paid sick days are actually a good thing. I mean, those ungrateful little workers should be happy they're even employed, right? Coming in sick shows their level of commitment to the company's bottom line.

Last week, actor and activist Susan Sarandon kicked off a twitter storm by tweeting her support of Christine Quinn for mayor and after a tsunami of tweets cajoling her, she ended up agreeing to entreat Quinn to support the sick leave. Gloria Steinem also pressured Quinn. Workers' rights activists are planning a serious push with phone calls and emails to Quinn as well as door-to-door advocacy with New York voters all to continue to pressure Quinn to bring the measure to a vote.

But Quinn appears to have an advocate in Rupert Murdoch. That's a helluva ally for a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, innit?


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