Low-skilled workers such as cleaners, parking-lot attendants and fast-food workers often have jobs that help keep a city running, but New York City’s newly sworn-in Mayor Eric Adams is getting flack for making elitist comments about them.
During a press conference on Dec. 4, Adams said “low-skilled workers” lack the academic skills to “sit in a corner office.”
Adams was urging larger businesses to return to in-person work at least a few days a week to support smaller businesses that rely on commuters who work in the city, Newsweek reported.
“My low-skilled workers, my cooks, my dishwashers, my messengers, my shoe-shine people, those who work at Dunkin’ Donuts—they don’t have the academic skills to sit in the corner office,” Adams said.
“That accountant—I need him to go to the cleaners,” he added. “I need him to go down to Dunkin’ Donuts. I need him to go to the restaurant. I need him to bring in the business traveling. And if we say that, ‘Well I don’t have to go in. I’m still getting my salary,’ then you are not helping those New Yorkers who need us to come in.”
Twitter blasted Adams.
“How is Eric Adams already this awful and he’s only been in office for 4 days” tweeted Compton Jay of Fred Hampton Leftists and Populist Voice Networks.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th congressional district, recalled her own experiences as a waitress before she entered politics and became a Congresswoman. “The suggestion that any job is ‘low skill’ is a myth perpetuated by wealthy interests to justify inhumane working conditions, little/no healthcare, and low wages. Plus being a waitress has made me and many others *better* at our jobs than those who’ve never known that life,” she tweeted. The 14th district includes the eastern part of the Bronx and part of north-central Queens.
An emergency medicine doctor and Iraq War veteran also weighed in on Twitter over Adams’ comments about low-skilled workers.
“My first job was at a Dunkin Donuts,” Cleavon MD tweeted. “After I served in Iraq as a corpsman, I used the GI Bill to attend community college in Cali. I’m fortunate to have graduated from top programs in the U.S. to be an ER doctor. ‘Low skill workers’ have academic skills, just not the support.”
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Adams backtracked on his “low-skilled worker” comments during a Dec. 5 interview with CBS This Morning. Trying to clarify, he said “the dishwashers” to whom he was referring cannot work remotely, theGrio reported.
“The goal is we need to open the city so low-wage employees are able to survive,” Adams said.
“People are going to try to take everything I say and distort it,” he contended, “but I’m focused, I’m disciplined, and I’m grinding to bring my city back.”
A retired New York Police Department captain, Adams started his public life as a transit police officer. He retired as captain after more than 20 years with the NYPD and served in the New York State Senate from 2006 to 2013, representing the 20th Senate district in Brooklyn. Adams was elected Brooklyn borough president in 2013 and was reelected in 2017.
File Photo by: zz/NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 7/14/21 Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on July 14, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York City. (NYC)