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Lansing Labor News
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June 25, 2022
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Local 652 President Ben Frantz
Updated On: Apr 21, 2022

April 2022

Spring has sprung! I hope you all are enjoying the warmer temperatures and seeing the sunshine and not just recognizing the rain and slop that spring also brings. Recently, it seems we are all too ready to point out the negative and overlook the positive in most situations. During my recent vacation with my family, this attitude presented itself repeatedly. Our vacation took us to a medium-sized coastal town that saw its population explode with approximately twenty-five thousand additional people during spring break. This is a positive, as we all traveled there for the beauty and temperatures. Yet, while dining and shopping, I was saddened to overhear and be addressed by patrons who were disgusted at how many people were “lazy” and “didn’t want to work.” This is looking for the negative in a positive situation, not understanding reality.

Here is the truth: multiple thousands of families crashed this town and overwhelmed the town’s establishments. It has nothing to do with people not wanting to work or laziness. What business can adequately handle the deluge of business that spring break brings? Spring breakers to a destination town are like torrential rains to a river; it can only take so much before the banks give way. The easy answer is to realize there is a worker shortage nationally and if you are blessed enough to afford a vacation and dining out, plan and know it will take a bit longer. Can we blame workers who aren’t willing to be abused by impatient customers for crappy pay? I, for one, don’t enjoy waiting longer for goods and services but I can appreciate the good that is coming from all of this. Let’s acknowledge and be happy for workers who are finally deciding working these jobs that have paid far too little for too long are no longer worth it and are moving to other industries. Retail and food service will be the most transparent industries hit during this transition.

It may come to you as a surprise but the healthcare and nursing field is almost as in need as the food and retail industries. Pre-pandemic, there was a nationwide shortage for nurses and now with how society seems to have regressed and treats people just awful, that need has not improved. My beautiful wife works in the health care field as an RN and she has been disheartened time and again by the rude and disrespectful treatment she and her colleagues receive as educated working professionals. Yes, it takes longer to get into the doctor’s office or get our surgeries, but why take it out on the staff whose sole purpose is to care for you? Why take it out on anyone? Understand that these industries are being cautious for their safety and ours. Most likely, they are understaffed and overworked like so many of us. Life, in general, can’t all be sunshine and rainbows, but it also can’t be all doom and gloom. We need to work toward a healthy balance and stop looking for something or someone to blame. Life as we knew it is coming back slowly, so as we enjoy getting back there, let’s not forget to be happy for workers looking to better themselves and try to be more tolerant during this shift in the workforce. As unionists, we should remember that patience is key to getting what we have earned when it is our time to make moves, and support is what we can provide when it is not our time to make gains.
Solidarity Brothers and Sisters.

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