Gina Dvorak has been working since she was 16 – she’s never not had a job. So when she was furloughed from the serving job she’s held for over 10 years at an Austin Japanese restaurant, she fell into a state of depression and uncertainty.

Dvorak joined the droves of other service industry workers who lost their jobs when Covid-19 arrived in Austin more than eight months ago. 

“The idea of being unemployed was a really hard adjustment,” said Dvorak, who is also an organizer with the National Restaurant Organizing Project and Restaurant Workers United. “Then to have worked in this industry for so long (and) watch it fall to the wayside, you’re looked at without any respect and seen as an unskilled worker.”

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