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Manufacturers group pushes against paid sick leave in coronavirus relief package

Manufacturers group pushes against paid sick leave in coronavirus relief package
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The National Association of Manufactures (NAM) wrote to Congress late Thursday night to push for immediate financial action in a coronavirus relief package that does not include a paid leave program.

The manufacturing group acknowledged the importance of paid leave programs, an issue Democrats are pushing for, but said this bill should address other needs.

“While proposals regarding a broad and wide-ranging paid leave program are an important national discussion, manufacturers are best served today with an approach that addresses the most serious and immediate financial hardships and uncertainties caused by this rapidly spreading disease that we are all working hard to mitigate as quickly as possible,” Robyn Boerstling, NAM’s vice president of infrastructure, innovation, and human resources policy, wrote in the letter.

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Boerstling said NAM supports a short-term, emergency leave program coupled with a tax credit for companies that continue to pay their workers through gaps in operations or while workers take time away to care for themselves or family.

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“The NAM supports immediate and targeted financial action that will keep paychecks in the hands of workers and the lights on at manufacturing facilities across America,” Boerstling wrote. 

She said the NAM’s priorities are health and safety, and ensuring the outbreak does not result in financial hardship for workers in the US.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a similar letter to Congress on Thursday to request coronavirus relief legislation that doesn’t try to address longer-term issues so a bipartisan solution can be reached. It also acknowledged the need to address paid sick leave, but argued against trying to include in the bill. 

There are almost 1,700 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 40 deaths, according to data compiled by The New York Times.