By Andrew Ivimey (Satire)
Gotham City's had many different employment sector struggles over the years. From the discovery that 80% of Gotham dock workers are just gang members in reflective vests, to the closure of the ACE Chemicals plant after a series of explosions that ACE corporate claimed were an “act of god” and definitely not due to vats of acid just sitting around with no lids. And of course who can forget the “Stop Exploding the Hospitals” Nurses’ Union strike of 2008 to now. But Gotham now has a new labour crisis, according to Julius Lieberman, Union Rep for the Gotham Trades Union.
“Gotham is currently experiencing a shortage of 100,000+ skilled construction workers due to the high demand industry of lair construction. Projects are currently backed up for years due to this shortage and prices are sky-rocketing.”
“Lair construction is a growth industry,” said Mark Cheung, CEO of ACE Construction (a subdivision of ACE Chemicals). “We’re in development of many exciting and innovative lairs, such as a hidden underground aquarium for King Shark, a refrigerated lab and living quarters for Mr. Freeze, and a rotating car platform and dinosaur/giant penny display case for an unknown client.” Mark went on to explain that what’s causing the projects to move slowly is the shortage in specialized trades people. “Putting up drywall is one thing, but finding plumbing specialists for aquariums that size, custom glasswork for a Poison Ivy greenhouse, or the weird stuff Gentleman Ghost wants is incredibly difficult.” Mr. Cheung would not elaborate on his Gentleman Ghost comments at the time of publication.
Unfortunately these delays in private projects have caused slow downs in government works projects too. The downtown onramp for the Gotham expressway has been closed for a year, the amusement park revitalization project is currently 15 years behind schedule, only 2 of 5 bridges have been rebuilt since declaring/reversing no man’s land, and we have no hospitals anymore.
Mayor David Hull said, “We need to encourage more Gotham citizens into growth industries like construction trades and away from dying sectors like medical science and hospital administration. At least until we build a new hospital. Please be careful out there people, we have no hospitals. I cannot stress that enough.”
This shortage is also affecting potential lair residents. Contractor and labour costs are on the rise, putting lower income weirdos in tough situations. “You know those indoor skydiving rooms? I wanted a lair that was like that but everywhere. Ten years ago I could afford something like that but I just can’t compete in this market,” said villain Kite Man who we spoke to at a local park where he now resides in hopes of catching a quick breeze to propel him into the air.
“All I wanted was a simple maze with three trap doors, one room that collapses and two spike pits,” The Riddler posted in a long twitter thread about the crisis. “The best estimate I could find was three years at four times what it used to cost me! If you want to know why A list villains only take a run at Batman every three years this is why! Enjoy three years of condiment king or whoever.”
Even with the industry booming there are plenty of challenges in attracting new construction labourers. Long and costly training means these positions cannot be filled overnight. Also it has one of the highest mortality rates among trades people, with 60% dying from trap related work fatalities and 20% murdered after work completion for knowing where the lair is. Also 10% die from complications due to minor injuries like cuts or broken bones because, and this is so important, we still have no hospital. So consider a trade and stay safe Gotham.
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