NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams did not mince words at an event Tuesday when speaking on getting New York’s workforce back into office buildings.
With the city’s COVID positivity rate around 22% this week, and despite a citywide vaccine mandate for private companies, firms like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs have continued to let their employees work remotely.
Adams expressed concern that many large corporations are still not requiring their employees to be back in the office.
“That is going to be devastating for our economy, and I don’t know if businesses are sharing with their employees, ‘You are part of an ecosystem of this city,’” the mayor said.
Adams also offended some people when he spoke in broad terms about what he called “low-skill workers.”
“My low-skill 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 a corner office. They need this,” he said.
Adams made the comments as he signed the new Small Business Forward executive order to reform existing business regulations.
Under the new order, local businesses will face fewer “needless” fines and penalties. Adams called on different city enforcement agencies to review business regulations to reduce fines and allow for warnings for first-time violators.
The move came as the city’s small businesses continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.