By Silda Martinez
While American leaders struggle with deciding when and how to reopen the economy, more than 5.2 million workers had been added to the unemployed list as of April 16. That is truly devastating.
The way many industries and businesses have been handling this crisis has actually been the most infuriating part.
Industries such as hotels, restaurants and mass retailers have gone straight to imposing layoffs. Some have even completely fired their workers, depriving them of the hope of eventually returning to a job after the pandemic improves. The fact that these industries cut them off so harshly in a time like this is beyond unfair. It is heartless.
During the pandemic, unemployment claims have reached roughly 22 million. This might be the deepest recession we have ever faced.
With sudden mass layoffs, of course, everyone turns to unemployment and other assistance provided by the government, making it extremely difficult for people to receive their benefits when needed.
Ms. Swonk, a director of unemployment offices in Los Angeles, said in a New York Times interview April 16 that multiple unemployment offices are still playing catch-up with thousands of newly filed cases.
With the pandemic sprouting so suddenly, it is completely understandable that some industries and businesses felt pressured to start making cuts. No one was really prepared for such a sudden change of lifestyle. However, these industries could have handled the care of their employees much better.
For example, prior to the pandemic I worked at The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in downtown Riverside, a family owned hotel. Although I had worked there for a year and a half, the hotel fired me as soon as the pandemic worsened, out of the blue with no explanation. They also cut many employees in different departments.
Some employees had worked there for over 20 years and depended on those jobs for the survival of their families but were so easily let go.
This experience made my coworkers and I feel hopeless and completely disappointed in our employer. During one of the most difficult times the world has faced, our source of income and survival was suddenly gone and our employers did not try to help us as much as they should have.
This has happened to millions of people all over the world. But it has opened our eyes to how much our government really helps us in our time of need. How much these industries and businesses really care for their employees.
It brought out anger. As hard workers, we deserve more than this.