Many people are blaming the American Rescue Plan because now businesses are having trouble finding workers. Many businesses especially restaurant owners are telling journalists that their workers are staying home and collecting unemployment instead of returning to their jobs. Journalists on their part are not asking these employers what pay they are offering to their workers or what care is being taken amidst the pandemic. However, it is not uncommon to see various stories in the media about why workers are not willing to get back to work.
A bartender and waiter in Washington D.C. told Washington City Paper, “People felt abused in the beginning stages of opening back up. It shook people enough to say, ‘I don’t think I want to get back into this.’ If you’re not going to follow protocols and you’re not going to have my back if guests get out of line, what’s the point?”
Another bartender who works in Florida told South Florida Sun-Sentinel that many workers have left restaurant jobs to work other jobs “partially due to COVID and the hours changing and not making consistent money.” Many people have gone into accounting and nursing but the restaurant owners that are talking to journalists are not sharing the facts that most servers have changed industries, they are talking as if these people are sitting at home without work.
People cannot sit at home, they have kids and responsibilities. They are afraid of being infected with the virus since many have seen how little their bosses cared about their protection.
Anne Helen Peterson reported, “In Waterville, Ohio, for instance, there’s this sad, sad song about the difficulties finding workers at Dale’s Bar & Grill—which somehow fails to mention that the owner is a Covid hoaxer (he believes that doctors have been falsely labeling deaths as covid-related) and has brazenly violated masking rules, and did not require employees to wear masks.”
Fox News Businesses recently interviewed a restaurant owner in California who was angry because his former servers were refusing to resume their jobs with him, “He told them he would only allow them to come back and work full time or the same shift they had before.” This same owner had earlier talked to Los Angeles Times explaining why he defied the shutdown order. He has been “It’s my way or the highway,” with his workers and they chose the highway.
Money is also an issue that is keeping servers away from the industry. However, an employer told The Wall Street Journal, “Even for unskilled positions people are offering several dollars over minimum wage.”
Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted, “Florida small business owners are all telling me the same thing, they can’t find people to fill available jobs. You can come up with all kinds of reasons & wave around all the Ivy League studies you want, but what does common sense tell you is the reason?”
Anne Helen Petersen further reported, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about American capitalism, it’s the skill and swiftness with which it translates resistance into personal, moral failure—which is precisely what so many of these business owners and politicians have done.”