You are currently viewing New York mayor’s comments on protecting non-remote workers make people stand up for ‘low-skilled’ jobs

New York mayor’s comments on protecting non-remote workers make people stand up for ‘low-skilled’ jobs

Sometimes it’s surprising how quickly politicians can intervene, even when they’re trying to say something legitimately important or useful.

Trying to convince the public that people who cannot work remotely need the support of other New Yorkers during the current wave of COVID-19 infections, New York City Mayor Eric Adams naively referred to the cooks, messengers, shoe shiners and Dunkin ‘Donuts employees as “low-skilled workers” who “don’t have the academic skills to sit in a corner office.”


To be fair, he was trying to express his support for the workers he seems to be insulting, but it turned out badly. His remarks sparked a storm of responses from people who worked as service clerks and challenged the idea that these jobs were “low-skilled.”






“There is no such thing as a ‘low-skilled’ worker. ”



Of course, different jobs require different skills, and “academic skills” can mean a lot of different things. But “low skill” sounds insulting

Adams tried to clarify its meaning in an interview on CBS This Morning, saying, “The goal is that we have to open up the city so low-salary employees are able to survive.

If he meant “low pay” he probably should have said it. And this fix doesn’t really solve the “lack of academic skills for a corner office” problem.

Some people have pointed out that “low-skilled” or “unskilled” jobs are a real category of work, meaning that they do not require any special education or long-term training. However, this wording understates the skills required to be successful in many of these jobs, so perhaps we should reconsider this wording completely.

What Mayor Adams really meant is that people in jobs that cannot be done remotely still need to be paid during the pandemic. Is encouraging office workers to come to the office in the midst of a raging pandemic so that they can help keep these employed people on the way? Questionable, but everything is questionable at the moment.

What is clear is that while her intentions were good, her childbirth definitely needed some tweaking. Don’t insult a large portion of your constituents by saying they don’t have the intelligence of a corner office. Not a good post, not a good look.

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