Labor Shortage Dutch Style

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On line at the grocery store, I read the big sign in the window: Seeking new colleagues to join our team.  Around the block at the café there’s a small paper in the window that reads: seeking wait staff.  The restaurant next door is full to the brim with customers everyday and employs only 2 servers and 1 cook, the entire staff looks overwhelmed.

No matter where I look in the service industry, the Netherlands seems to be lacking workers. Yet at the same time, I can think of many university students who would never take such jobs.  I’m also reminded of my fellow university graduates who are seeking work in the field of their studies and would not take up work in a restaurant or a grocery store.

All this to make the un-scientific observation that there could be some type of labor shortage in this part of Europe. And it is getting worse.

Meanwhile I read about the situation of detained refugees in Belgium, who are currently on hunger strike.  Belgium’s politics and economic reality is certainly not identical to the Netherlands, but I still think it says something about where this entire region is within the discussion of the right to work and immigration policy. For the neverending obsession with keeping people out, I’m wondering who they’re going to turn to when no one in the country will take essential jobs.

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2 Responses

  1. What are you waiting for? Are you afraid of some honest collar? You better get started soon, son.

    Who knows you might learn something, George Orwell did his stint, aren’t you curious about what it feels like to shovel shit and be treated like the shit off someone’s heel?

    • bicyclemark says:

      Honest collar? i assume you mean.. why don’t I go do one of those jobs? Currently my plate is full.. but youre right.. it would be interesting to go back and get in there. Not that I haven’t spent enough time waiting tables or working in grocery stores. The years I did either of those left me with a very good understanding of how that world works.. at least in the US.