This week, an Austin, Texas based juice company called Juiceland had to close five locations and limit the hours of multiple others due to their workers going on strike. Normally, something like this would pass over my radar, but I personally have fond and absurd memories of the establishment.
Juiceland is a caricature of the city of Austin — it’s pretentious about not being pretentious. The storefronts are typically stripped down, un-air conditioned areas covered by social justice stickers and are run by a staff of vegan, unshaven, pronoun-announcing hipsters who sell $10 juice. I know this, because when I lived in Austin, I had a frequent buyer card — nothing makes you feel healthier than drinking a cup of something that tastes just a little better than dirt and paying an arm and a leg for it — and I say all of that to say this — it is no shock to me that this company is now hurting due to who they hire.
Juiceland employees are a caricature of woke liberalism — they want handouts from people who have earned more than them and live a successful life because of smart investments, hard work and ingenuity. As of January 2021, the business had 37 locations — and it all started about two decades ago when the owner picked up the pieces of a failed juice store including soon to be salvaged juicing equipment — and worked his tail off to make it grow.
The basis for all of their complaints is that they want more money. Apparently, making above $10 an hour to put fruits and vegetables in a blender isn’t enough — and the company complied, raising their base hourly rate to $15 — but that didn’t stop their demands. From there, the armpit-smelling unified group of unskilled laborers wanted even more money — $17 — and began to make a host of ridiculous claims that normal, hard-working Americans would never consider.
According to the on-strike juice makers, the company is racist, sexist, completely unsanitary and owes them “hazard pay” for their working during the pandemic. On the ‘Juiceland Workers Rights’ Instagram page — because of course they have one — they demand that the leadership of Juiceland learn and abide by their social justice wokeness and learn from a ‘becoming anti-racist’ chart. If that’s not enough, they’re demanding to know how much all of the corporate executives make and to have “worker-led managerial evaluations” so if a manager tells them to ‘do their jobs,’ they can write up that manager for being ‘too mean.’
I’m not sure how racist and sexist making hipster juice can get — there seem to be a few of hearsay claims of it — but I would imagine that unless one has taken a hallucinogen that makes it appear as if the fruits and vegetables are yelling at them on the way into the blenders — I wouldn’t believe that management would even know who or what the employees were.
The underlying issue here is as plain as day — there is a completely entitled generation of unemployable, lazy people who were just given government handouts at a record rate that no longer want to work. I have personally known many more people who have worked in much more hazardous scenarios — chemical workers, paramedics, etc. — for similar or less pay than these questionable adults want for putting fruits and vegetables into blenders. Those harder working people never complained about sexism, racism and would never consider demanding to evaluate their management, because they’re too busy working to provide for themselves and their families.
In addition to the difference in work ethic, there are record numbers of homeless people in downtown Austin — you can literally see them everywhere — who I’m sure would gladly take a simple, manual labor job for $15/hour to improve their lives. And that’s before we add in the illegal immigrants coming here for whom $15/hour is a luxurious amount of money for what to them would be a luxurious job.
Finally, there’s another simple concept that the woke unskilled liberal workers don’t seem to grasp — you chose to work at Juiceland, you’re not forced to stay there and you have no right to hold a business hostage to demand ridiculous things. If things are so bad, go get a better job. Perhaps even learn to code.
The Juiceland employees strike is a warning to all employers out there and it’s not just simply ‘hire woke, go broke.’ If you hire entitled, pronoun-announcing, leftist babies who aren’t willing to take personal responsibility and work hard, your business will eventually suffer — and maybe close.
Juiceland and other businesses have a chance to improve America — thinking that leaning in to woke demands will stop woke demands is a mistake — cleaning out this workforce and replacing them with hard-working Americans who appreciate the opportunity to again — make $15 to blend fruits and vegetables — is the only path forward.
• Tim Young is a political comedian and author of “I Hate Democrats/I Hate Republicans” (Post Hill Press).
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