‘We quit’: Several Pittsburgh workplaces faced dramatic worker shortages | News | Pittsburgh
About two weeks ago, a sign was stuck in the subway window on Beechwood Boulevard in the Greenfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh saying “We Quit” and followed by a smiley emoji. the small poster was signed by seven people, apparently employees of this Subway store.
A tweet sharing the sign went viral and was just one example of Pittsburgh’s public workplaces that have experienced somewhat dramatic and unexpected job shortages in recent weeks.
Subway – Pittsburgh, PA (Greenfield) Love to see it. (not my photo) pic.twitter.com/saLtPaZy2a
– Josh 🏴🚩 (@RabidSocialist) June 18, 2021
The exact reasons workplaces in Pittsburgh and nationwide are struggling to fill positions and keep workers are uncertain, with some arguing that raising wages will solve the problem, with others noting lingering concerns surrounding the pandemic. Jobs in Pittsburgh have been slow to rebound from pandemic lows relative to other regions, but jobs in the hospitality industry are starting to see a slight increase.
University of Pittsburgh economist Chris Briem jokingly speculated on social media that the worker shortage may lie in management’s ability to keep frontline worker content in their jobs.
“I’m starting to think that the real labor shortage is not in the numbers of frontline workers, but in the frontline managers who don’t make workers be so happy to walk away. ” Briem tweeted on Jun 18th.
Staff at Dollar Tree in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh dived today lol pic.twitter.com/jJxrzRLzc2
– loud lady (@ Sandernista412) June 16, 2021
On June 16, a sign was posted on the door of the Family Dollar on Penn Avenue in Garfield that read “The staff are shutting down!” Everyone be easy. KDKA spoke with residents of the neighborhood, who said it was not the first time that labor shortages had caused the location to close.
KDKA also reported that one of the store managers who left Family Dollar said she works 105 hours a week and with little support from the company’s district manager. The store manager has already given her two weeks notice, but decided to leave with the only other store employee on June 16.
Sudden work shortages also recently hit local breakfast chain Pamela’s Diner, which announced on June 27 that hours at the Squirrel Hill location would be reduced due to “understaffing at all locations.” Pamela deleted this post, but still announced that the hours would be reduced and that they were working “vigorously to reopen more days in the near future”.
On June 28, the four swimming pools in Allegheny County had to close for the day due to understaffing.
All four swimming pools in Allegheny County are closed today due to understaffing. https://t.co/E00YpM9BM3
– Shelby Cassesse (@ShelbyCassesse) June 28, 2021
Allegheny County Director Rich Fitzgerald told KDKA Radio the closures were due to a combination of factors, including a shortage of lifeguards, employees taking vacations and attempts to reorganize work shifts to ensure that all pools can be opened for the 4th of July weekend. KDKA Radio reports that lifeguards in Allegheny County earn between $ 14 and $ 16 an hour.