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Lack of labor

To the editor:

Did you know that the Saranac Lake Aldi currently only has seven employees? I didn’t until today. So I am writing this to say three things:

First of all, wow! Thank you to those seven faithful employees who are keeping (in my opinion) one of the most essential stores in the town of Saranac Lake open. Aldi in Saranac Lake provides most of us with good, affordably priced groceries. Many Saranac Lakers don’t own cars, so to be able to have such a great store in our town, within walking distance, is HUGE for us! If Aldi wasn’t there, I would have to travel to Plattsburgh or Malone to be able to buy the amount of groceries that I do within my budget to feed my family of six.

Second of all, why can’t they find workers? I’m sure that some of the workers have left jobs in the past year for a variety of reasons: health, retirement, child care and, let’s be real, mostly because of government handouts and extra money given to those who are unemployed. During the early months of COVID, I realize that extra money from the government may have been keeping some able to pay their bills and feed their families, but now, after we’ve made great tracks towards normal life again, vaccinations readily available, businesses and life returning to pre-COVID normal, there shouldn’t be a reason for those staying at home to be receiving extra cash.

Can we not see the toll it is taking on the stores and businesses that cannot find willing workers? How is this possible, except that there are some who would prefer to be paid to stay home rather than go out and find a job? There is no job shortage; that is for sure. Almost every business has a “help wanted” sign on their door! And you know what? Who is to blame for this lack of incentive to work? Do you blame someone for choosing to stay home if you can make more money to do so?

But there’s a catch. When a wonderful business like Aldi is limping along with only seven workers keeping its doors open and shelves stocked, we risk losing the businesses that keep our town running, that provide services for so, so many people. Some may be making more money staying home rather than working, but will that extra money help them when they do not have stores with enough employees to stay open? Workforce, we need you!! Please come back to work before we lose even more businesses to this hateful pandemic!

And thirdly, if you happen to be at the Saranac Lake Aldi this week, please be charitable with the staff that are there. Don’t be impatient with the long lines or critical of empty shelves. Give a big smile to the person checking you out, and say something kind. I know that I speak for many when I say that I appreciate having an Aldi in our town!

Hannah Blue

Bloomingdale

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