An article by state media Channel NewsAsia (CNA) said restaurants have been unable to fill around 1,000 F&B job openings for over a month. The Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) along with a few restaurant owners complained about the manpower crunch since Phase 2.
Restaurants complained that safe distancing measures have led to big changes in their operations and manpower allocation. Others say they have trouble with staff retention even though people are hired on a weekly basis.
While one restaurant owner claimed Singaporeans tend to avoid F&B work due to its long hours and shift work, he also appeared to blame Singaporeans for being choosy. He mentioned how it was “funny” Singaporeans continue to shun F&B jobs even though there is high unemployment due to Covid19.
Netizens responding to this news feel that some restaurants only have themselves to blame. They pointed out how the F&B industry has long been over-reliant on foreign workers. The lack of career progression is another obstacle for F&B staff.
However an overwhelming number of netizens cite the low wages paid to F&B staff as the main issue. It is not just Singaporeans nitpicking jobs but the lack of fair compensation. Some question what is the point of taking on a job which does not provide a living wage. They feel restaurants should look into improving the salaries of local workers.
Just last month the issue of minimum wage was hotly debated in Parliament, with the PAP refusing to accept The Workers’ Party proposal of implementing a $1,300 universal minimum wage. Perhaps Singaporeans are willing to take on certain jobs provided there is a decent minimum wage.