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Editorial: Minimum wages is a balancing act

['Editorial']
['Editorial']

What a balancing act it can be when it comes to the hiking of the minimum wage.

There’s an aim across the country to move the wage up to $15 an hour and Ontario is a leader in it, raising its wage to $14 per hour – a jump of $2.40 from its minimum wage of $11.60 per hour.

The $15 an hour minimum wage is planned to come into effect in 2019 in Ontario.

It was on the first of October last year that the minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 25 cents to $11.00 per hour.

Attaining the $15 an hour minimum wage in this province hardly seems possible in the short term.

Already in Ontario at least one business seems to be penalizing its employees for the wage increase by cutting back in other areas, including breaks no longer being paid at a Tim Horton’s location.

There are also cuts to other incentives at the business.

The Tim Horton’s cuts are the first to be made public but there are likely a number of others to fall in line to retaliate with the imposed minimum wage hikes by the province of Ontario.

It’s funny how history repeats itself as many years ago when there were imposed minimum wage hikes there was the same kind of a situation across the country.

That’s when businesses decided to go up against government and, instead of complying with what they proposed, developed policies whereby workers would only get so many hours a week so that the business wouldn’t have to pay full-time wages along with the benefits that went with the job.

It ended up in lots more workers but with everyone getting less hours and less benefits.

Was it right? Absolutely not!

However, it was legal and there was little that could be done about it.

The question is whether workers in Newfoundland and Labrador can continue to make a living a living at $11 per hour. It’s really eking out a living and a person can only do it if he/she is very frugal.

There is no doubt with increasing costs in this province that there needs to be a higher minimum wage but the rate at which is hiked needs to needs to be examined very carefully so that businesses, within their legalities, don’t take it out on their employees and penalize them.

Yes, setting minimum wages is a balancing act.

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