Monday, September 6, 2021

Labor in the Time of COVID

It's Labor Day, that nominally pro-worker holiday that was created in order to undercut the dangerously radical May Day in the US... can't have those proles getting any Marxist ideas!

After a year of articles alternately praising workers for being heroes and calling for the end to the COVID related unemployment benefits (to force people back to work), our labor situation is, well, strange- in a particularly cruel bit of irony, the expanded unemployment benefits expired on this very day, but companies are competing for talented workers, which would tend to suggest a good situation for job seekers.  Unfortunately, our society tends to use sticks, rather than carrots, so the cessation of benefits will most likely outweigh pay raises.  Of course, the sad joke of calling shelf-stockers and cashiers heroes is really not that appealing to the Joe or Jane Schmo actually doing the job, while having to deal with a deadly virus AND obnoxious customers... these people need raises, not empty platitudes.

Personally, I received my typical annual raise on the job.  While a modest augmentation of my hourly wage, it was accompanied by a huge increase in hours on the job, due to various emergencies.  My employer receiving grant money to offset financial hardships was a key factor in this occurring.  I'm doing okay, the average worker is really experiencing a mixed bag, financially.  The real issue, though, is the fact that CEOs are receiving hundreds of times the compensation of typical workers, while being appallingly undertaxed.  I don't really see that changing, and the fact that billionaires have to perform unearthly stunts to claim the mantle of heroism of a simple supermarket stocker is no consolation.

At least it was a good day for a BBQ.  Post title a play on Márquez.

1 comment:

DocAmazing said...

Things are getting so bad that chiseling employers are having to compromise and pay a living wage!