My cousin works for a private academic institution and I've heard series of stories of sack, salary slash, downsizing in the last few weeks and it really breaks my heart. I know this story is not a new one in recent days as every other "non essential commodity-giving" organisations are toeing the same line and all fingers have been pointed at the corona virus pandemic.
While it is true that COVID-19 has weakened the economies of many communities and nations, the effect of which would take several months to recover; it is also important to look critically into the perils faced by the labour sector lest many hide on the umbrella of COVID-19 to further drain our economies.
Labor is the amount of physical, mental, and social effort used to produce goods and services in an economy.source It supplies the expertise, manpower, and service needed to turn raw materials into finished products and services. Labour is crucial to the growth of every economy and has the potency of boosting economy when when all members are working at a job that uses their best skills.
Labour, then, being a crucial drive of an economy deserves the reward of wages to enable them to buy the goods and services they don't produce themselves. Where a commensurate wage is not meted to labour, then, there is an anormally in the system.
Today, the labour force is under a great threat of losing their jobs, hence, most succumb to cheap pay, just to keep their families going especially now that the economies are on recess. Simply put, cheap labour has become the plague of the day.
What is Cheap labour?
In the simplest form, Something (goods or services)is cheap cost less money than usual or than is expected. Cheap labour is when a person works hard for very little money.source They also usually work under really, really, really bad conditions, mostly for the fear of being sacked. It becomes more messy in third world economies or corrupt developing economies where Unemployment has become an achievement of their leaders.
What is really the cause of Cheap labour?
In the interim, fingers are pointing to COVID-19 as the major cause of cheap labour. We do not argue the effect of this pandemic but many systems are hiding under the guise of covid's effect to gather cheap labour. There are other signifincant causes to this plague in the alour sector:
- Job Displacement
- Creative Destruction
Unemployment is the state at which the employable population do not have opportunity to offer their skills in exchange for money. This is plaguing many countries of the world and some of their leaders have no clue of getting out of the mess.
Job displacement occurs where a person who was previously working suddenly gets relieved of the work for some reasons.
Creative destruction refers to the process of how capitalism leads to a constantly changing structure of the economy. This happens when old industries and firms, which are no longer profitable, close down enabling the resources (capital and labour) to move into more productive processes.
In all three scenarios, the victims are helpless and would do anything for a pay no mater how meager the pay is. They are exploited and are manipulated. This, for me is inhumane.
What is the way out?
I already have one option to suggest to the affected individuals and that is expressing their passion on a social blogging platform like Hive and earning cryptocurrency in the process.
What can you suggest for these victims and what's the way out for economies that are heavily plagued?