The great resignation |

“Attracting workers” has become the new mantra repeated, like an invocation, by those who are alarmed at the impact on the local labor market of the so-called “big quits” trend. This concerns the tourism and catering sectors (where more than 50,000 positions are still to be filled even though the tourist season has already started) and companies that are looking for specialized staff but cannot find it.

The term “big quit” was coined last year in the United States to describe the unprecedented rise in the number of workers who lost their jobs and don’t want to get them back or quit during the pandemic. Was it the result of a reassessment of their lifestyle, a redefinition of their priorities between work and personal needs and desires, or a more existential process? There have been many explanations and analyzes for the phenomenon, but they boil down to the fact that Millennials and Gen Z have decided to seek a new balance between their work and personal lives.

The Greek version of the Great Resignation has similarities to the international trend but is also different in some ways. Again, there are many different opinions about what is behind this new reality. It is not only that many workers prefer to collect unemployment benefits, which now amount to more than 400 euros per month, and increase them with uninsured and moonlighting shift work; it is also the fact that the demands placed on workers in the tourism and catering sectors can be absolutely grueling, especially at the height of the tourist season.

Those who have been laid off during the pandemic are struggling to return to what many describe as the “galleys” and essentially means working 16-hour days, seven days a week, for a small amount of money. This is obviously a broad generalization and there are many different categories. Yet even good employers who offer decent wages and conditions struggle to find staff for their companies and businesses.

This is a serious issue and one that should not be exploited for cheap political gain. It should not be viewed through the lens of the ideological fixations and exploitative explanations that some political parties so often tend to rely on. This is a question that requires a new perspective.

That said, beyond the measures that are already being discussed to combat the phenomenon – such as companies becoming more socially responsible and offering better incentives – there must also be greater respect at all levels for what called human capital, for the people who make up the workforce of a country, from the lowest position to the highest. Because dignity is the only way to ensure reliability.

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