This past week the NYS Senate passed legislation to grant up to four hours of paid leave for workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations. This will help speed up the herd immunity process and encourage individuals to get vaccinated. We must all do our part to eradicate COVID-19 and its variants, and vaccination is one of the ways we will accomplish this. The Assembly has already passed this important bill and the Democratic majorities in both houses deserve credit for their leadership.

New Yorkers have been suffering from the physical, economic and mental health effects of this pandemic for over a year. Mental health issues have affected many New Yorkers, especially youths who have seen a massive increase in suicides over that time. Mental health professionals have highlighted the need to remain vigilant as the stress from the pandemic, job loss, school closures and other economic fallout continues to weigh heavily on the minds of New Yorkers.

Working people have borne the brunt of the pandemic with their lives and livelihoods. And, unless New York raises revenue to fund vital services, they will be the victim of the crisis once again.

Join us Monday, March 1st on Facebook as we host a live forum with workers and experts from around the state to discuss the impact of the pandemic on working people, and how new state revenue is the only way to build back stronger.

The entertainment industry generates more than $10 billion in economic activity in New York State and is central to tourism, travel, and hospitality. Live entertainment such as Broadway plays, musical productions and concerts at clubs or theatres like Radio City, film and television production, sporting events and countless others, draw millions of people to the state each year.

Call your member of Congress and tell them to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act now!

Working people fought to elect pro-worker lawmakers to the Senate, House and White House. They gave us their word they would make the PRO Act a top priority.

It’s time for them to keep that promise.

Statement of New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on the PRO ACT