Sunday, February 28, 2010

"going backwards"....

It's a tough economy out there and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that those working on minimum wage are the ones who are having it the toughest... and if your business can't survive unless you're in a two-tiered minimum wage system then it's time for you to find something else to do... I simply don't get it why a business can't find another way through either better service or superior offerings to make up the difference and compete in the marketplace... I get a sense the public are already a little suspect of business people in general and depriving our lowest income group of few dollars starting out certainly doesn't help to improve this situation... employees at whatever level are always a company’s best asset and starting new ones off by "going backwards" is not in my vocabulary.... sorry there Chamber but I'm not here with you on this one...
Two-tired minimum wage debated
The Guardian
Heated and lengthy debate on government’s proposal to bring in a two-tiered minimum wage continued in Charlottetown Friday.
The Standing Committee on Community and Intergovernmental Affairs has been hearing presentations on the concept of a differentiated wage for the past several weeks.
In the fall, government changed P.E.I.’s laws to allow for more than one minimum wage rate. But it hasn’t decided whether to implement the change.
On Friday, the Canadian Restaurant Food Services Association argued a two-tiered minimum wage would bring more jobs to P.E.I.
Association representative Luc Erjavec said many of the Island’s food service employers have lost money due to recent minimum wage increases. Coupled with losses due to the economic recession, many employers are struggling to survive.
“To put this in context, a 50-cent increase in minimum wage, which is what most provinces in Atlantic Canada are doing this year, means $2.3 million in new costs for food service operators - about $7,000 for the average operator,” Erjavec said.
These increased costs have placed a tremendous financial burden on a number of employers, he said.
That’s why the food service association is advocating a two-tiered wage rate for regular workers and a lower minimum wage for liquor servers.
The Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce also spoke in favour Friday of the proposed wage changes.
Chamber past president Doug Coles echoed Erjavec’s concern over the provincial minimum wage increases, saying these have pressed the need for a legislated tiered system for wages.
“Each time the minimum wage increases, it shrinks the gap between minimum wage workers and the wages paid to more skilled workers, driving up their wages which subsequently impacts the employers’ bottom line,” Coles said.
The Chamber wants to see a three-tiered wage system established that would see lower wages paid to employees in training, another wage for inexperienced workers under the age of 18 and higher wage for experienced employees.
Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians, criticized the fact government passed the legislation allowing a two-tiered minimum without first going to public consultation.
“This really is backwards. We should have had the opportunity to have input before the legislation was actually passed.”


Tim Banks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Way to go Tim,
Finally a business owner who stands up for the minimum wage paid workers here on PEI. Many people do not realize that we have already a two tier system on PEI. On the one hand, we have the very well paid government employees with all their benefits (health insurance, paid sick days, decent amount vacation time, very good pension plan, paid overtime, paid snow-in days, many with flexible work hours etc.), and on the other hand we have the private sector employees which are paid hourly. These workers do not get any of the benefits stated above. In matter of fact, as an example, these employees will be sent home without pay when the city closes down because of snow storms. Here again, one can see the inadequate system here on Prince Edward Island.
Shame on the members of TAIPEI, The Restaurant Association, the Charlottetown Chamber for lobbying the Government to set that precedence and shame on the Government of Prince Edward Island to even consider it.
I follow your blog often because you see it and say it the way it is.