Restaurant Worker Quandary

An article in this week’s Portland Phoenix explores the difficult choice restaurant workers have to make—balancing personal/family health and financial needs—when considering when to return to work.

“Everyone obviously wants things to be normal and wants things to go back to normal,” said one Portland bartender, Hanna, who left her job in July after feeling uncomfortable with on-premise dining. “If we can make things feel normal for a couple hours then that seems worth it to a lot of people, but I know that my coworkers were pretty uncomfortable with everything.”

Despite new COVID-19 regulations, sanitation precautions, and mandated masks, industry workers said they feel unsafe returning to work, yet feel pressure to continue working at the risk of losing financial security.

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