How we define Non Essential Workers
Many years ago a group of school children gathered together to watch a large expanse of grass being cut by a reasonably large ride on mower. A member of the public passed the kids and as he did so heard their teacher tell them that if they did not achieve good results with their school work they would end up like the man on the ride-on mower.
Okay, such work may not be a popular choice for the answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up,” but at the same time such work is a valuable service to our community. Given the fact the mower operator was cutting the serviceman’s section in a local cemetery one could argue it was essential. How better, to honour the veterans that died protecting the country and the procreation of the children she was now teaching?
The workforce has a definite hierarchy and entrenched in quite a nasty class structure. People complain about “foreigners” taking away the jobs from the locals. What they don’t seem to appreciate is that the only reason that “foreigners” achieve such employment is because they are the only ones willing to do it. These are jobs one cannot boast about during dinner parties.
Doesn’t hiring people willing to do a fair day’s pay, even under minimum wage conditions, make more sense? It must be preferable to employing people that will spend half their time moaning about having to work there and the other half putting little if any effort into the job? How many ex CEOs would be happy to hop in a truck and pick up the neighbourhood rubbish? Yet if no one was removing rubbish then we would all be living in an unhygienic landfill.
The Coronavirus 19 lockdown has highlighted the extent of how we seem to dismiss the importance of what we consider to be the non-essential workforce. When you really scrutinize it, every person’s job is essential for society to function. Electricians come under the heading of an essential service during this lockdown because most companies rely on their staff to work from home, and it is also imperative for people’s health and traffic flow to function.
One could argue that those that make electrical cables are also essential so that electricity can flow, as are people that cut back branches that over grow of cause potential damage to overhead wires. However electricians also depend of screws and other equipment in order to attach wires etc. They also need a number of tools. Unfortunately factories the produce boxes or bags in which the screws are sold aren’t considered essential so therein lies a problem.
Another example is potatoes. Under the guidelines of Level Four lockdown all restaurants, fast food franchises and takeaways have been forced to shut. This means the potato industry is now unable to sell enough produce to make it profitable. They have to rely on supermarkets but people usually only buy a limited amount of potatoes. They still sell at markets but a lot of markets are out of town and it is a lawful requirement to stay local when shopping.
Travel agents rely on tourism in order to motivate their customers to go on holidays but when nearly all tourist attractions, parks, beaches and non-essential excursions have been locked down it is very hard for them to survive. A large number of pilots have lost their jobs and so this is going to continue to cause disruption once the lockdown is lifted. And speaking of job loses companies will struggle to get back to normal with limited staff whilst others will possibly fail if there are not enough people on a steady income willing to purchase their products.
Everyone has a vital role to play in the workforce. Think of it as a Rolex Watch with so many parts coming together to make it function, but the absence of any of those parts, no matter how trivial, will cause it to stop working. For the want of a message the battle was lost. For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.