Employees Are Rising Up Against Unacceptable Conditions — And It’s About Damn Time
Striketober is the latest chapter in a long-overdue fight for better wages and fair treatment for workers
As many can surely attest, working generally sucks. Working through a plague is a particular brand of awful.
To those who kiss up to employers, that doesn’t mean anyone stating the obvious is an ingrate — certainly not at a time when so many in this country continue to suffer under the weight of living in an expensive and grossly unequal country. Even if you like what you do for living individually, it doesn’t negate the fact that most American workers are largely overworked and underpaid when compared to those of similar nations. For nearly 40 years, we’ve mostly been unable to do anything about it.
That’s what makes what’s been happening this year such a remarkable time for the American worker — it’s about time more of the mainstream media shed light on it in a substantive way.
For example, some in the media can quit pretending there is a “labor shortage” when it’s really workers demanding that their jobs are worth working.
Some 4.3 million workers, which represents nearly 3% of the workforce, have quit their jobs since August. Those numbers are up from the previous record set in April, which saw about four million people quitting. The Washington Post recently highlighted data from the Labor Department that showed that about 892,000 workers in restaurants, bars, and hotels quit in August, along with an additional 721,000 workers in retail. Additionally, some 706,000 employees in professional business services as well as 534,000 workers in health care and social assistance also quit their jobs.
There are multiple reasons why workers are quitting, and yes, some of that speaks to how the pandemic has shifted the mindset of workers with respect to their jobs and their personal lives. But everyone is not merely on a journey of self-discovery. As the data shows, this more broadly speaks to the realities that workers are fed up with their low-wage paying jobs, and if they are in a position to walk away, they will.