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"Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Ted King
Date: January 12, 2022 03:41PM
[www.vox.com]

Quote

“My low-skill workers, my cooks, my dishwashers, my messengers, my shoe-shine people, those who work at Dunkin’ Donuts — they don’t have the academic skills to sit in a corner office,” New York City’s new mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference, stirring up controversy less than a week into office.

The remarks were part of a broader plea to employers urging them to bring remote workers back to the office and arguing that work from home was harming small businesses across the city. But in doing so, he referred to in-person, service sector workers as “low-skill workers.” Those remarks rankled some, including US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, state Sen. Jessica Ramos, and a number of other commentators who reacted negatively to the pejorative connotation of “low-skill.”

[tweet]
Quote

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
@AOC
The suggestion that any job is “low skill” is a myth perpetuated by wealthy interests to justify inhumane working conditions, little/no healthcare, and low wages.

Plus being a waitress has made me and many others *better* at our jobs than those who’ve never known that life.



e pluribus unum



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2022 03:42PM by Ted King.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: vision63
Date: January 12, 2022 03:47PM
Semantics really. It doesn't change employment market value which is kinda the goal.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: January 12, 2022 03:48PM
Whoda thought that looking into someone's job-history and political positions before voting was still important in this day and age?!



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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: gabester
Date: January 12, 2022 03:56PM
NYC Mayor Adams really is cut from the same cloth as the previous president...



g=
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Ted King
Date: January 12, 2022 04:12PM
Quote
vision63
Semantics really. It doesn't change employment market value which is kinda the goal.

Would you say that those workers have low wages because they have low skills?



e pluribus unum
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 12, 2022 04:15PM
Quote
vision63
Semantics really. It doesn't change employment market value which is kinda the goal.

Words matter. The wrong ones do a world of damage. And it very much impacts "market value" if you refer to a person doing essential work as "low skilled." It's a pejorative, as AOC says.

No adult should be working full time or more and still be unable to afford the barest basics.

Essential workers is much better.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 12, 2022 04:15PM
As a retired cop and former borough president he represents full retreat to old-fashioned NYC machine politics.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: vision63
Date: January 12, 2022 04:24PM
Quote
Ted King
Quote
vision63
Semantics really. It doesn't change employment market value which is kinda the goal.

Would you say that those workers have low wages because they have low skills?

No. It's because it's a bunch of them. They're going to pay them the least amount of money the government will allow.

People will ask why does In N Out pay more than McDonalds? They demand more from their workers who basically do the same work but with a stronger work ethic. We keep wanting employers to care more but they don't have to because we keep going to them.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 12, 2022 04:29PM
Somebody is going to be the lowest paid. That isn't the issue, the issue is HOW LITTLE any employer can get away with paying for labor. We've got some obscenely underpaid people in our country now who work with little to no protection from government or union or anybody. And businesses wonder why they can't find workers.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 12, 2022 05:42PM
No. It's because it's a bunch of them. They're going to pay them the least amount of money the government will allow.

Actually many are going to pay even less than allowed. If you read the upshot of the penny guy, he was found to owe much more in unpaid wages. Wage theft is one of the real problems facing low wage employees in all sectors of the economy.

If an employee steals from an employer they may face "criminal" charges, what sort of "criminal" charges do employers face when caught stealing from employees?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2022 06:37PM by RgrF.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: bfd
Date: January 12, 2022 06:08PM
Some trash collectors here in town are pushing this issue even as you all are writing about it. They finally said "enough is enough", and $20/hr to do this work just isn't going to cut the proverbial mustard anymore. Mountains of trash piling up, scabs are being hired and sent in from out of state (while hardly making a dent in the ever-growing mountain), at least two city councils are threatening to pull the contract and sue the company on behalf of customers. Fun in the far southwest corner of the US! This is just the tip of the iceberg. Multimillion dollar LLCs and corporations who pay their chairs and boardmembers hundreds of thousands of dollars are being held to account - in some limited situations. But it'll grow… Solidarity.

[www.sandiegouniontribune.com]
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: vision63
Date: January 12, 2022 06:45PM
Quote
RgrF
No. It's because it's a bunch of them. They're going to pay them the least amount of money the government will allow.

Actually many are going to pay even less than allowed. If you read the upshot of the penny guy, he was found to owe much more in unpaid wages. Wage theft is one of the real problems facing low wage employees in all sectors of the economy.

If an employee steals from an employer they may face "criminal" charges, what sort of "criminal" charges do employers face when caught stealing from employees?

I only ask two things from a job.

1. Pay me
2. Pay me on time

I know to the penny how much you owe me. I'm a litigious kinda guy. I've never lost.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 12, 2022 07:33PM
Quote
vision63
Quote
RgrF
No. It's because it's a bunch of them. They're going to pay them the least amount of money the government will allow.

Actually many are going to pay even less than allowed. If you read the upshot of the penny guy, he was found to owe much more in unpaid wages. Wage theft is one of the real problems facing low wage employees in all sectors of the economy.

If an employee steals from an employer they may face "criminal" charges, what sort of "criminal" charges do employers face when caught stealing from employees?

I only ask two things from a job.

1. Pay me
2. Pay me on time

I know to the penny how much you owe me. I'm a litigious kinda guy. I've never lost.

I worked a job where there were filled in time sheets weekly. I always photocopied my, at the recommendation of my buddy. Numerous supervisors were eventually busted altering time cards. And these were on federal contracts. Almost lost the ability to bid on and keep contracts already won for 5 years over it.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: vision63
Date: January 12, 2022 08:16PM
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Racer X
Quote
vision63
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RgrF
No. It's because it's a bunch of them. They're going to pay them the least amount of money the government will allow.

Actually many are going to pay even less than allowed. If you read the upshot of the penny guy, he was found to owe much more in unpaid wages. Wage theft is one of the real problems facing low wage employees in all sectors of the economy.

If an employee steals from an employer they may face "criminal" charges, what sort of "criminal" charges do employers face when caught stealing from employees?

I only ask two things from a job.

1. Pay me
2. Pay me on time

I know to the penny how much you owe me. I'm a litigious kinda guy. I've never lost.

I worked a job where there were filled in time sheets weekly. I always photocopied my, at the recommendation of my buddy. Numerous supervisors were eventually busted altering time cards. And these were on federal contracts. Almost lost the ability to bid on and keep contracts already won for 5 years over it.

All those crazy shenanigans. People will rob you blind if you let 'em.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 13, 2022 03:26AM
It was shifting the order of work on the time sheet. Once you hit 40 hours, it was OT. If you worked on internal projects, the company paid out of allocated overhead. So by shifting overhead work to the top of the time sheet, it was entered first, and counted as non-ot work. The contract stuff was put lower of the time sheet, and any hours worked after 40 billed the government for the overtime, at a really high rate.

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany" [www.youtube.com]

The government audit was brutal. It was middle management doing it. I honestly believe upper management knew nothing. It would have killed the company if it wasn't self-reported.

The workers got paid, it was Uncle Sugar getting screwed. Those of us with the copied originals were all witnesses.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 13, 2022 06:38AM
RacerX - oooh yeah… I worked on a COBOL project (I know, right ?) to mark sense time sheets for auditabilty after the DOD busted a few of our middle managers doing that crap. For all the waste and bureaucracy, they do take billing seriously. Same company got shut down for two day by the FBI because the purchasing , receiving, and accounting teams had a fake company going that provided invisible goods to defense contracts.

Like you, when I get online ethics training I have to chuckle because I’ve lived many of those situations, and handled them appropriately. Well… except for the foreign corrupt practices… had to bribe a guy so I could get out of that country…
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 13, 2022 06:50AM
you can be a slacker, but you steal, that gets taken seriously.

Anyway, moving forward, as the population ages, we will need double or triple the medical workers to keep up. The low paid nurses assistants will be leaned on heavily. My partner's middle kid is training for a CNA license, as is my partner's niece. I REALLY will urge them to go further after some time, to LPN or even RN. My partner's daughter in law is an LPN, and we hope she gets more training for RN and a specialty or two.

My mom's RN had oncology and critical care certification added to it.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: January 13, 2022 07:08AM
These abuses occur with businesses of all sizes.

Fresh out of grad school, I worked an hourly job for a very large entertainment conglomerate.

They used a sub-corporation to handle employment/payroll.

They'd been sued many MANY times and paid multiple settlements with government/employees for wage-theft and misreporting employees as part-time contractors. This was common knowledge and was frequently talked about. My understanding is that this sub-corporation allowed them to employ everyone who wasn't management as a "contractor" so they wouldn't have to pay benefits or adhere to union rules, and when they were inevitably sued again this sub-corporation would just get spun off and declare bankruptcy.

I handed in my timesheet at the end of the first 60+ hour work-week and my boss handed it back to me with instructions to amend it to show 40 hours. He said that he wasn't allowed to submit timesheets with overtime.

I once pulled a 72-hour work-day. My compassionate boss allowed me to come in an hour late the next day.

I knew guys at several computer companies who were in similar situations at the time. One of the giants employed better than 90% of their workforce as "contractors" in a similar fashion. Some of those guys would never leave the campus for weeks and would barely catch an hour's nap here and there when a product was approaching ship-time, and they were still paid like they worked a 39 hour work-week.



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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: kj
Date: January 14, 2022 10:45AM
Every job I've worked at had the "clock out and continue working" thing. If not me, someone else. Changing the name you give workers doesn't do crap. It's a comical practice in some fields (developmental disabilities, differently-abled, etc.). A new name just provides a new pejorative.
When pay for sanitation workers went up, so did their status. And like janitors, when people have to do without, they discover these people are VALUABLE. But it's easy to take them for granted. Of course, it does have to do with whether people have the skills to do something else. I guess that's where the low-skilled thing comes from. If they don't they get dumped on.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 14, 2022 03:40PM
Quote
kj
Every job I've worked at had the "clock out and continue working" thing. If not me, someone else. Changing the name you give workers doesn't do crap. It's a comical practice in some fields (developmental disabilities, differently-abled, etc.). A new name just provides a new pejorative.
When pay for sanitation workers went up, so did their status. And like janitors, when people have to do without, they discover these people are VALUABLE. But it's easy to take them for granted. Of course, it does have to do with whether people have the skills to do something else. I guess that's where the low-skilled thing comes from. If they don't they get dumped on.

Would you want to be referred to as "low skilled?"
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: vision63
Date: January 14, 2022 05:42PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
kj
Every job I've worked at had the "clock out and continue working" thing. If not me, someone else. Changing the name you give workers doesn't do crap. It's a comical practice in some fields (developmental disabilities, differently-abled, etc.). A new name just provides a new pejorative.
When pay for sanitation workers went up, so did their status. And like janitors, when people have to do without, they discover these people are VALUABLE. But it's easy to take them for granted. Of course, it does have to do with whether people have the skills to do something else. I guess that's where the low-skilled thing comes from. If they don't they get dumped on.

Would you want to be referred to as "low skilled?"

If you are you are. How would you ever aspire to acquire more skill and ability if you don't recognize and acknowledge it? I don't think people need to be rude about it though.

I always remember waiting tables, but I didn't start off doing it. I washed dishes first. The giant machine washed the dishes, I just scraped and loaded the dishes. Then I was a busboy, and eventually waited tables where I could make a lot more money, relatively speaking because it wasn't all that much. Helped me get through college and young adult-hood. I knew it was all a crappy job overall despite me making the most of it.

It seems like everybody wants people to be proud of being stuck in dead end jobs. I drove SuperShuttle, worked at Tower Records, The Whereouse Records and Tapes, even harvested fruit. Courier, of course Fast Food (Taco Bell, McDonalds).

My mother hated me acting like I was happy working these jobs. She wanted me stop jivin' around. If you're over 30 and this is all you have then yeah, we should pour money on them. But kids, they need to do better.

10 years ago the Fed minimum wage is the same as it is today. But we won't get there because we don't know how to have enough power to get it done. People's voices isn't power. Even Manchin tried to negotiate $10 but that got rejected as being too low. So $7.25 it is.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 14, 2022 06:27PM
Democrats are nowhere near having enough support in our own party to pass a federal minimum wage increase. 8 Dems plus 100% of GOP Senators voted against it a year ago. In the proposed legislation, the increase was phased in over several years, it was not a sudden increase to $15. Manchin showed he was badly informed on the issue throughout the debate with a number of misstatements.

As for "low skilled" workers I think we've gotten too far from the context of the Mayor's comments. He was distinguishing office workers, who can do their jobs remotely, from direct service folks, who can only do those jobs in person. He referred to the latter as low skilled, and the former as "college educated." The truth is plenty of office workers don't have college degrees and do jobs you can get out of high school without a lot of training. I think the Mayor's intentions were honorable, he just stepped in it with thoughtless phrasing.

No need to insult people because they do service jobs instead of office work. Work is work and the people who do it deserve dignity and fair pay. It's that simple.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2022 06:30PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 14, 2022 08:26PM
The Feds don't need to do a thing. Your state can, all on its own. Washington did.



********************************************
The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: kj
Date: January 17, 2022 10:37AM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
kj
Every job I've worked at had the "clock out and continue working" thing. If not me, someone else. Changing the name you give workers doesn't do crap. It's a comical practice in some fields (developmental disabilities, differently-abled, etc.). A new name just provides a new pejorative.
When pay for sanitation workers went up, so did their status. And like janitors, when people have to do without, they discover these people are VALUABLE. But it's easy to take them for granted. Of course, it does have to do with whether people have the skills to do something else. I guess that's where the low-skilled thing comes from. If they don't they get dumped on.

Would you want to be referred to as "low skilled?"

Probably not, but does being referred to as "differently skilled" solve any problems? Maybe the problem is that people equate the worth of a person to the status of their job. Changing the name does nothing to fix that.
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Re: "Essential workers aren’t “low-skill,” they’re low-wage."
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 20, 2022 11:23AM
Quote
kj
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
kj
Every job I've worked at had the "clock out and continue working" thing. If not me, someone else. Changing the name you give workers doesn't do crap. It's a comical practice in some fields (developmental disabilities, differently-abled, etc.). A new name just provides a new pejorative.
When pay for sanitation workers went up, so did their status. And like janitors, when people have to do without, they discover these people are VALUABLE. But it's easy to take them for granted. Of course, it does have to do with whether people have the skills to do something else. I guess that's where the low-skilled thing comes from. If they don't they get dumped on.

Would you want to be referred to as "low skilled?"

Probably not, but does being referred to as "differently skilled" solve any problems? Maybe the problem is that people equate the worth of a person to the status of their job. Changing the name does nothing to fix that.

What we've learned in the pandemic is that " essential workers," those who do in-person service jobs, are some of the most important workers in our economy. Why place an opinionated value ranking like "low skilled" on an entire group of workers?

I have a housekeeper who earns $100 for 2.5 hours of work at my house. Because she is very skilled at her job. I would verbally smack anybody who called her "low skilled."

All this term does is grant permission to employers to under pay and otherwise poorly treat these workers. I think "underpaid essential workers" might be an improvement.
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