Fintan O’Toole: We are learning how much we rely on low-paid workers
The coronavirus pandemic exposes that those who keep us alive are deeply undervalued
‘The women and men who are keeping the supermarkets going most probably make about €13 an hour.’
“You’ll end up sweeping the streets.” Or: “You’ll only be good for stacking shelves.” These were the warnings against idleness flung at generations of youths by teachers and parents. They meant: you’ll amount to nothing.
The jobs they invoked were synonyms for uselessness and failure. In the natural order of things, such contemptible tasks are unworthy of either esteem or reward.