Meet the people losing their jobs amid the COVID-19 lockdowns | Culture Clash

Virus Outbreak Britain
Virus Outbreak Britain Copyright Alberto Pezzali/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By Alexander Morgan
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Businesses and wealthy celebrities have been called 'inhumane' for cutting jobs and withholding pay from workers during the pandemic.


An estimated 25 million people will lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus, according to UN agency the International Labour Organisation.

Kelly Juvilee and Ben Spicer are among them.

"It was horrible. It was inhumane. It was cold in the way that they approached it," Juvilee told Culture Clash.

She had worked as the assistant manager for the same small retail business for almost ten years.

"It was like my second home," she added.

Then out of the blue, she found out she had lost her job.... by e-mail.

"I was made redundant on pay day and told that I will not be paid for the hard work that I had done the month previously," Kelly said.

"I felt angry. I felt that they didn't care... It's sad that people treat human beings like this."

The business is now insolvent, meaning Kelly's chances of reclaiming her lost earnings are extremely slim.

Ben's appeal for help went viral

Ben Spicer has worked as a delivery driver for fifteen years, and has never been without work.

"I was at a job one day, and I got a phone call saying that we had a meeting at the end of the day, and I needed to be there.

"There was about 18 of us... [the boss] saying that as from the end of the week, meaning the Friday, there was no longer any employment.

"I was absolutely destroyed, because I've got five kids. To feed five kids on a zero wage, is impossible" Ben said.

Countries around the world are feeling huge economic pressure brought about by COVID-19.

Despite schemes launched by governments to try to stop companies firing employees, many have still cut jobs and withheld pay.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Richard Branson has come under fire for Virgin Atlantic's treatment of staffCopyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.Oded Balilty

Companies with wealthy celebrities at the top have been singled out and roundly criticised on social media.

Critics singled out Richard Branson after Virgin Atlantic told staff they would receive no pay for two months. He has an estimated net worth of more than 3.5 billion euros

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In case you need a recipe tonight 😉

A post shared by Gordon Ramsay (@gordongram) on

Gordon Ramsay posted this video at the same time as 500 people lost their jobs in his business

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay posted a video dancing with his daughter to TikTok, at the same time 500 people lost their jobs in his restaurants.


Social media has been awash with thousands of users compiling lists of companies they say they will "boycott" when this pandemic passes.

The picture isn't all bleak. Across Europe tens of thousands of positions have been created by supermarkets and pharmacies desperate for extra support.

And then there are individuals and small businesses reaching out to support health workers.

Businessman Pat Phelan saw a tweet from an Irish nurse pleading for help affording taxis to and from work.

"A light bulb went off," he told Culture Clash.


"All these cars you rent by the hour, they're sitting all over our cities. If I was to pay the insurance for all the cars, could we get these people to work more efficiently?

"One tweet. Two emails. And it was done. I've never seen a response like it."

"When this is over, we won't be measured by how much we have. We'll be measured by what we did for others. I'm positive about that."

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