Massachusetts Restaurant Workers Struggle With Unemployment During Coronavirus Outbreak

Restaurants have suffered some of the biggest losses since the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many workers like Darnae Ricci filing for unemployment for the first time.

Massachusetts Restaurant Workers Struggle With Unemployment During Coronavirus Outbreak

BOSTON (CBS) — Restaurants have suffered some of the biggest losses since the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many workers like Darnae Ricci filing for unemployment for the first time.

“Not being able to go to work or even having to file for unemployment, I think, is difficult for most people,” she said.

Ricci said she’s always had a job. Last November, she joined the staff at Dryft, a new Revere Beach restaurant, as a server. She never thought that less than six months later, she’d be filing for unemployment.

“It was confusing because Dryft is so new, so they couldn’t find it in the system yet,” she said.

Ricci said it only took a few weeks for her to get her benefits. But with the number of unemployment claims, experts say others may experience longer waits.

The highest number of unemployed people in Massachusetts are workers in the food and accommodation industry, followed by retail and construction.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the system is struggling to keep up with the volume of claims. He said enormous number of people who have applied is 10 to 15 times the number the state normally sees each week.

The state said more than 650,000 people have applied for unemployment, and 400,000 are receiving benefits.

Financial experts say anyone who’s jobless should file for unemployment, contact creditors for help and create a budget. Michael Finer, a financial advisor, said it is going to be very painful for a lot people.

“Take these 39 weeks of unemployment benefits if you receive them,” he said. “Budget them carefully and figure out what your plan is going to be if you’re unable to get a job. You’re going to have to be very nimble and very thoughtful and probably going to have to do some retraining to figure out where the new demand is going to be.”

Ricci is one of the fortunate ones. She has a job to go back to. Dryft will reopen the dining room when the restrictions are lifted. She said it had a good following and hopes once it opens the doors, the restaurant will bounce back.

 

Source : CBS Boston More   

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Footwear Company Donates Sneakers To Nurses On Coronavirus Frontlines

Massachusetts footwear company Oofos has donated shoes to six local hospitals including Mass General, Tufts and South Shore.

Footwear Company Donates Sneakers To Nurses On Coronavirus Frontlines

WORCESTER (CBS) – A sign of relief for hospital workers on their feet for 12 or more hours every day as a local footwear company donates comfy sneakers to Worcester nurses.

Those frontline health care providers can use a break. This is one more way the Massachusetts community is saying “Thank You.”

“Oh, these are comfy,” said one nurse as she tried on the shoes. And that’s the point, to give UMass Memorial Medical Center nurses, and their feet, a little support as they take care of Covid patients.

A nurse tries on Oofos recovery shoes in Worcester (WBZ-TV)

“Personally I work 7 to 7 so I’m 12 hours, but there are other nurses here that do 16 hour shifts, some do 8,” says Lyn Flagg, a UMass nurse in the emergency department. That kind of grueling schedule can take a toll.

So footwear company Oofos, headquartered in Braintree, decided to help. They make what they call “recovery” shoes, sneakers and sandals for people whose feet take a beating, like runners. So they’re perfect for these professionals engaged in a marathon battle to defeat Covid-19.

Nurses receive free Oofos shoes in Worcester (WBZ-TV)

“We started out with agreeing to do a thousand pair and about 10 hospitals across the country, and now it’s up over 3000 pair and 23 hospitals total. And we’ll do more,” said Steve Gallo, the president of Oofos.

The company has donated shoes to six Massachusetts hospitals including Mass General, Tufts and South Shore. “Just to be able to give them a small token of appreciation with a product that we think can help make a difference and make them feel better is why we’re doing it,” Gallo said.

“I think all of us here are very, very happy that somebody thought of us. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone giving shoes, which we love because our feet are pretty sore from the hard work we’ve been doing the last seven weeks, killing Covid,” said Flagg.

Even before this latest effort, Oofos was already donating 2% of its’ online sales to breast cancer research at Dana Farber in Boston.

Source : CBS Boston More   

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