We’re just a few days from the start of 2013 and the debate about a rise in the provincial minimum wage is sure to heat up.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council is making a concerted effort to put a roadblock in the way of recommendation of a government committee which suggested the rate should rise at a steady, predictable rate from its present $10 an hour.
Employers are quick to talk gloom and doom when it comes to increasing the minimum wage.
They say any increase will put pressure on businesses that could cause them to fail.
That rarely happens and businesses pass along the increase to their customers and feel little or no impact on their bottom line.
Any money employers pay out also almost surely comes back into their own tills.
Any person getting a few pennies added to their $10 an hour pay rate isn’t likely to take the extra money and play the stock market with it or head south for a few weeks of sun and fun.
They are almost certainly going to put that money into providing for their families and that means spending locally at local businesses.
If these workers work a regular week, they will be earning about $400 a week and taking home less.
Anyone who makes more than that should consider what lifestyle they would have getting by on that wage level.
Not everyone is able or wants to get postsecondary education and qualify for higher wages ... and a good thing too.
If these low-wage workers weren’t available to fill most service jobs our society would likely grind to a halt.
There is little downside to pay any worker a living wage, despite what the opponents contend.
Workers get more money, are happier and feel more appreciated. They take that extra pay and circulate it in the local economy.
What could be wrong with that?