From clapping for essential workers to revaluing them

Dr Karin Astrid Siegmann

In this Global Labour Column blog post, Senior Lecturer Karin Astrid Siegmann argues that despite the growing appreciation of so-called essential workers, many are still underpaid and unappreciated.

A new hero has emerged in the wake of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus: the essential worker.

A global crisis like the one we are facing now raises our awareness about how essential care and food are for human flourishing. The underlying logic is very simple: essential workers are life-making rather than product- or profit-making. Care and food workers therefore top the list of occupations whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response that many governments have published.

Yet, while essential workers keep the cogs of societies oiled and turning, most of them remain underpaid and underappreciated.

Read the full post - From clapping for essential workers to revaluing them

Assistant professor