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Workers and Job Seekers Give a Labor Day Reality Check

Heading into Labor Day weekend, Martin Irabien remembers being at the Broadway department store as an assistant manager until it shut down.

The Broadway entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1991.

Irabien says he has had a tough time rebounding in the current job market.

He finds it very challenging, even for those getting a pay check now. “Companies, they look for cheaper labor in the manufacturing of clothing and they left us where we are today,” said Irabien.

When it comes to today’s workers, Irabien sees the experienced worker in a risky place. He claims employers can cut costs and reshape positions on a moments notice.

“They only look at the stack of papers or applications. As simple as that. They don’t have to give you an excuse. They can find any lame excuse to get rid of you and have two more people instead of one. Veterans have experience and they have to pay you and by getting rid of you they can hire two more people instead of having just one.”

One local worker who is pleased with her health care job remembers the days she was job hunting in high school and college.

“It has changed a lot from when I was younger,in high school summer jobs and things like that, you think it is going to be better,” said Barbara English. “You get to a certain point and the economy is trying to make a comeback but not fully.”

English says sometimes you have to take a job you never thought you would have and build yourself back up if you are unemployed right now.

Others suggest job fairs, networking and retraining efforts to find a new job.

One resident said workers who get some extra hours at their job can handle the week to week grind better than those who have two jobs, even if they are not making the “living wage.” But does it really add up?

Mike Cribbs said , “I think that you need a certain level of income
it does not have to be a wage. It could be the weekly income 40 hours a week plus 10-15 hours of overtime and it makes a world of difference than 40 hours a week even if you are getting more for those 40 hours.”

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