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Why is There No Outcry to Pay Supply Chain Heroes $15 an Hour? Plus Combat Pay, Straight Out of CEO Bonuses?

Updated on April 7, 2020

Although first medical responders are rightfully getting their due praise and appreciation at 7pm each night, are we thinking enough about the people who are just as important? Who keep your condos from being overrun with rats because they handle and take away your garbage, who keep food on your shelves, the Home Depot associates (average salary $23,860 according to Glassdoor.com) who agree to come in, no one can force them, to sell you your Drano when your sink is clogged up?

There are a few million essential workers between us and hell on Earth. Love him or hate him, whoever you are going to vote for, Bernie Sanders was right about the worth of these workers, after all.

No Wall Street banker is driving nurses and poorly paid health care assistants to work in subways and buses. Or serving them in hospital cafeterias working brutal 16-hour shifts. America can use this crisis as a wake-up call. Or get it an get exactly what it deserves.

Thomas Jefferson said: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

You think toilet paper is precious now? Just wait until it has been out of stock for weeks.

So fragile is our chain of life - it is not an overstatement, because without food and certain items there is no life - that society would turn into a hellish chaos of terrifying desperation should it break down.

In times of extended social breakdown, when people see their last two jars of pasta sauce on the shelf for dinner for themselves and their children, their basic nature changes. These are the times in history, such as the social breakdown in Venezuela, when normal people start to behave like animals. Plunder, looting, and a general breakdown of law and order can take hold. People with empty stomachs, getting emptier all the time, will do anything.

During the L.A. riots in the Nineties, truckers refused to go into neighborhoods that were too dangerous. Food was not getting delivered. The supply chain is more fragile that we would like to think.

We should be demanding CEOs give up their bonuses to raise the wage of the lowest paid worker. The Essentials have our backs. Now we have got to have theirs.

During the coronavirus crisis, as we all hunker down inside to stay safe, give a thought the shelf-stockers, the cashiers, the store managers who are keeping food on the shelves. Against their own safety. Trump said this is a "war." In any war, front-line soldiers get combat pay.

These were once looked at as the lowly jobs. "Crap jobs." Often these heroes are speaking to each other in Spanish. Do we care about their immigration status now?

None of your apps, none of your brilliant yuppie start-ups matter if you can't eat.

$15 an hour minimum wage, plus combat pay for the duration of the corona. Coming straight out of CEO bonuses if they have to.

These are "kid" part-time jobs? Not serious work? Still think that?

It is not in the best of times when a worker's true worth is known, but in the worst of times. When a water main breaks, and entire blocks have no running water. When electric poles are knocked down in a storm, and part of a city gets a frightening taste of what it's like to sit in the dark.

This is a reboot of America. Like him or not, Bernie Sanders was right. I'll take one of these workers in a pinch over a slew of overpaid hedge fund managers any day.

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    • ralphlopez profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Lopez 

      16 months ago

      Carolyn Amen

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      16 months ago from South Dakota, USA

      I appreciate everyone who helps me. The stocker. The fast-food server. The garbage collector. The hairdresser. The cashier. The toll booth operator. The maid. And on, and on, and on. Every job that provides a service that I don't have to do is valuable, each in a unique way.

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