Good people with good hearts are being run by incompetence and nepotism up high. They work for the man or the ministry, and the man and the ministry work them to death, writes Ruta Tangiiau Mave.
‘Mayday, Mayday’ is the distress call for pilots or captains
of planes and ships as they lose control and will certainly plunge into the
abyss of clouds and water.
May Day is also the International recognition of Labour Day
of the working-class workers and encourages them to know their rights. It
started with the eight hours a day movement, which dates back to the 16th
century, but owes its success to the British Industrial Revolution that
transformed working life from 10 to 16-hour days, six days a week, when child
labour was also common.
A Welsh textile mill owner and social reformer, Robert Owen,
in the early 19th century called for eight hours of labour, eight hours
recreation, and eight hours rest for workers every day.
Moving fast forward, technology designed to make our lives
easier, save time and be convenient, has proven to be quite the opposite.
The computer was supposed to create a paperless world, now
we use more, as hard copy backups and originals hold more weight as evidence
and substance than online correspondence.
In the fight to climb the ladder and smash the glass ceiling even the
white-collar workers found themselves labouring to 10 to 14-hour days, six days
The suburban dream of the nine to five Monday to Friday with
sport and lawns on Saturday, church and rest on Sunday, went out the window
when malls opened 24/7.
In full tourist season, our hospitality staff in resorts and
accommodation would find themselves working long hours, most days with
impossible demands to turn around rooms to high standards, or back to back
weddings, so guests can be squeezed into every minute of every day. Challenging
for the owners, stress for the workers.
Delayed flights, double bookings, and bridezillas will have
staff being called in early hours or held late into the night, to be repeated
the next day on minimum wage, with no overtime, only time in lieu and no time
to take it.
The government subsidy of eight dollars an hour can be a
large fall for some, but changes little for others. They are still working away
from their families, sending money home to feed, clothe and educate their own
children right through university, while cooking, cleaning or raising someone
else’s children over here.
In contrast, some foreign workers on full time subsidy, for
18 hours a week, giving no community service, are paid similar to what a
full-time ambulance driver on shift work earns. Mayday.
Then we have our over-worked, under-staffed health and
teaching government workers. They may have benefitted by retaining their jobs
while tourism lost theirs. They do benefit from the across-the-board power
subsidy and 70 per cent interest paid on loans, but their workload has
Their wages pre-Covid were too low then, and they’re much
too low now. It’s been over a year and the cracks are starting to show, the
layers are peeling away and the fragility of our most wanted, needed and often
mistreated nurses, doctors and teachers, is being exposed.
Women worldwide have been affected most from the effects of
Covid, carrying more stress and responsibility for keeping the home together.
They are giving 200 per cent to everyone, every day, without realising their
100 per cent effort is more than others offer.
They have cut their life’s bloodstream and are draining
themselves dry, until there is nothing left but a shell. They enter the
classroom to follow up and through on the lost children falling through the
cracks, teaching them to read, where no one else has cared enough to get them
to school, only to be hailed irresponsible by parents who want free labour at
Or they take case after case of human abuse, against each
other, against themselves, in harm and lifestyle. They soothe, mend, guide and
nurture, only to be criticised by the very patients they just healed because
they want a magical quick fix. “Don’t expect me to help myself, you do it,
that’s what you are paid for, right?” Mayday, Mayday.
Our frontline workers are folding, they are going home
broken and worn to the bone, they have given their all 12 to 14 hours a day and
are still criticised as it’s not enough. They are crashing to rock bottom,
exhausted, disillusioned, unsupported.
Good people with good hearts are being run by incompetence
and nepotism up high. They work for the man or the ministry, and the man and
the ministry work them to death.
Death in their beliefs they can help or are helping. Death
for the job they no longer love. Death to their hope if they just push on
further, show the way clearer, be available to mentor others, someone will
recognise them and say ‘Thank you’.
To our workers, take heart and healing. We salute you.