For Immediate Release
May 17, 2018
Keep the Politics out of the Minimum Wage
The St. John’s Board of Trade commends the province of Newfoundland and Labrador for their stance earlier this year when they tied minimum wage to the consumer price index (CPI). This form of measurement will provide employers and employees a predictable way to prepare for future increases.
Within our province, we believe in mutually beneficial employment relationships between employees and employers. We also believe in taking the politics out of the minimum wage. As seen in Ontario, the effects of sharp increases in the minimum wage has created a volatile labour market and has risen the prices of products and services throughout the province. Ontario’s price index for restaurant food jumped by 1.9 per cent in January, the most since 1991 and nearly double the rate of any other province. Since the initial increase in the minimum wage there has been ups and downs in employment as well.
In January, Ontario shed 51,000 jobs which was a contributor to the largest drop in jobs the Canadian labour market in the last nine years. In more recent months we have seen Ontario add jobs but decrease their amount of full time employed citizens.
We do not wish to see our economy move into a state of instability similar to Ontario’s due to a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. Arbitrarily increasing the minimum wage when it is not tied to an economic indicator creates a substantial strain on small business and would be the death nail for some business owners who are already struggling in a tough period for our province.
We call on Government to maintain the status quo and keep minimum wage tied to an economic indicator and not tied to politics.