Sudden layoffs during pandemic show lack of appreciation for workers

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.

housekeeping-4594891
An illustration depicts a worker carrying cleaning tools and supplies. Millions of working class people have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

One response to “Sudden layoffs during pandemic show lack of appreciation for workers

  1. You obviously never owned a business! You have no idea the pain that an employer has laying off their employees, but they need to make sure that the business can survive the pandemic and have a job for you to return to! It is not all about you. It does nobody any good if the business fails and cannot reopen. Business still have to pay rent, all the the utilities, insurance and all the other bills that you have no clue about with little to zero income.

    Before you accuse business owners as having no heart for their employees, why don’t you start a business and go through this crazy situation! The sickness that a business owner is feeling, the uncertainty of how to pay bills, the lack of sleep, and worrying how you will support your family and not loose your house, the worry you have for your employees and how they are surviving, these are things you will never know. Do not call us heartless!

Have something to say about this post? Share it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.