There is a problem in France regarding low wages. Unions have said this for a long time, if not always. The Minister of the Economy had underlined it in January, therefore before the Covid-19 pandemic: “Companies must guarantee a better sharing of value, they must open to their employees prospects of better life, rising wages . “Four months and 27,000 dead later, the injunction is more pressing: we must” think about an effort at justice “, insists Bruno Le Maire,” for those who run the economy “.
Isn’t that the case for any worker? Perhaps. But, in the context of the coronavirus, everyone understands who it is: these employees who continued to work during confinement because they ensured a “essential trade” for the immediate survival of the population (cashiers, truckers, police, traders, garbage collectors, delivery people …) or in the fight against the virus (caregivers and other staff in hospitals and nursing homes). No teleworking for them, hardly any protection (at least at the beginning) against a possible contagion, and very low wages for trades of which we discovered how essential they were!
The President of the Republic, at the height of the pandemic, took note of it: “We must remember that our country, today, is entirely dependent on women and men whom our economies recognize and remunerate so badly. In the short term, we promise bonuses, and that’s only fair. There are plans to reactivate an obsolete “Medal of Commitment to Epidemics”, and I understand that this may seem derisory, even shocking, to those who have been demanding wage increases for so long. This brings us to the basic problem.
Salary does not measure moral worth
If all human beings are equal in rights and dignity, why do they not all receive the same salary? Because it’s not their people[…]
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