‘During the pandemic, I have seen big problems turn into huge problems.’

A smiling young man with short hair and glasses wearing a black hoodie.
(Photograph by Trevor Jackson / For The Times, Los Angeles Times photo illustration)

Lawson Kline, Dorsey High School


During the pandemic, I have seen big problems turn into huge problems. A lot of people lost their jobs and had no way to pay the rent; others who got government assistance did not use it for necessary things.

Also, the amount of money workers get paid compared to what they pay in rent is ridiculous. These big companies make a lot off your work, and they expect you to go above and beyond. They say they care so much about their workers, but they keep many of them living paycheck to paycheck, sometimes not eating because the kids come first.

I work part time, around 25 hours a week. I get paid $15.20, and in six months I get a 30-cent raise (it was previously 10 cents before our union strike). I’ve been told I am a great worker, but I feel I do a lot more than what I am paid for.


These big companies make so much money, they can afford to raise our pay. If they did, I believe they would benefit from having workers who did not see it as a chore just to survive.