Its sweaty in here.
  • It's sweaty in here.
Seattle City Council chambers are packed for the 5:30 p.m. hearing on proposed legislation that would mandate that all Seattle businesses extend paid sick leave to their workers. The legislation is being considered by the council's Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture committee, chaired by council member Nick Licata. The committee is currently hearing public testimony on the measure.


Here's a quick .pdf summary of what the proposal would accomplish. Support for the legislation tonight is overwhelming—a majority of the audience sports neon-green Mr. Yuck-looking stickers that read "YES PAID SICK DAYS FOR SEATTLE."

Public comment is just now starting. You can watch this exciting city process at work over here.

UPDATE: Bob LeCoque, vice president of Markey's Machinery Company, is the first person to speak against the legislation on behalf of his company. "We've paid taxes to Seattle for 104 years," LeCoque begins before launching into the threats outlined by the shadowy REAL Coalition. “If this passes, we’d be forced to look at a variety of options to offset the unexpected costs of the ordinance” including taking away employee benefits and relocating the company elsewhere, LeCoque says. The Downtown Seattle Association is also apparently "concerned" about the legislation.

In other news, numerous small business owners, union workers, maritime workers, and nonprofits are testifying, one after another, in support of the proposal, including Mainstreet Alliance, the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans, Pride at Work, a firefighter union president, restaurant owners, and a Wallingford pediatrician who owns his own business.

"I don't want to serve you a side of H1N1 with your fries," testified owner of Plum Bistro to huge applause from the crowd.

UPDATE 2: Prompted by Gabriela Quintana of the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, proponents hold up 2,000 postcards from Seattle workers supporting the legislation. "We'll be dropping these off for you to read," Quintana says to the council. (Photo after the jump.)

This is what 2,000 postcards looks like.
  • This is what 2,000 postcards looks like.