We treat vendors and restaurant staff like dirt, no wonder there is a shortage
What a mess the country is right now. The food chain is broken at every step, from the people who harvest the produce, through the production lines, to the delivery drivers and the people who serve food in restaurants.
This is in part our fault because the Home Office statement, quoted on the PoliticsHome website, was very clear: âThe British people have repeatedly voted to end free movement and regain control of our immigration system and employers should invest in our national workforce. instead of relying on foreign labor, âsaid a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.
So there you have it, the government said with echoes of Norman Tebbit: âYou made your bed, now you can either lie on it or get up and go to work on a production line somewhere.
Of course, not everything can be due to Brexit. When David Cameron made the momentous and ego-driven decision to bet the UK’s future with a referendum, he had no idea that a global pandemic was imminent. The fact that thousands of people are forced to self-isolate every day does not help labor shortages.
And, of course, neither consumers nor employers are helping matters. Who wants to work in a restaurant or store where customers treat you like a piece of land. I have heard young people working in restaurants being abused by people with a strong sense of their own worth. Barking their orders without any jokes is the norm, swearing and yelling because there is a delay in the kitchen is simply intimidation and the perpetrators should be really ashamed of themselves.
Employers should also take some responsibility. Many elements of the food chain involve unpleasant working conditions. I saw a team of workers picking carrots on a very hot day. At noon they asked me if I wanted to refill their drink bottles as they ran out of water. The least an employer can do is make sure the workforce is hydrated. For too long, seasonal or temporary workers are expected to work long hours in poor conditions.
Maybe now is the time to hit a reset button and work on something other than just making some money. Maybe it’s time for employers to offer something more, whether it’s training, job prospects, accommodation – anything that makes an employee feel useful.
I’m not sure if there are enough people in our country to fill the labor shortages, but I do know that many more people might be tempted to take some of these jobs if they offered better ones. wages, conditions and prospects.
Sarah Juggins writes the WASHED UP column in the Lynn News fortnightly. His opinions are entirely his. Reply to [email protected]