Ontario just bumped its minimum wage to $14 per hour, but it is working families and consumers that will suffer.
A newly released study from the Bank of Canada suggests the Canadian province will lose some 60,000 jobs by 2019 as a result of the hike, the National Post reported. And local businesses are making other cuts, too.
Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images
Here’s how some businesses are reacting:
Popular Canadian coffee brand Tim Hortons announced to employees they are losing paid breaks, paid benefits, and other perks as a result of the minimum wage increase, according to CBC News.
“I wasn’t marching down the street asking for this pay raise. Now I’m worse off.” https://t.co/s3LmyTsdC8
— CBC News (@CBCNews) January 3, 2018
“Breaks will no longer be paid. A 9 hour shift will be paid for 8 hours and 20 minutes,” the letter reads. “These changes are due to the increase of wages to $14.00 minimum wage on January 1, 2018, then $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019, as well as the lack of assistance and financial help from our Head Office and from the Government.”
Herb & Spice
Herb & Spice, a local grocery in Ontario co-owned by Mike Steinberg, announced it will be cutting the number of hours it’s open and will be reducing part-time employees’ work time.
“Everybody was a little bit nervous when I walked in early in the morning yesterday,” Steinberg told CBC News, referring to staffers concerned how the wage increase might hurt their employment.
At the end of the day, he said, the hike will “make it harder and harder to operate.”
Even international fast-food brand Subway reportedly announced it will be upping its menu prices “by an average of 7 percent” as a result of the minimum-wage increase:
— London West PC (@LondonWestPC) January 3, 2018
In total, Subway said the cost of employee wages “have risen by over 20%.”
“The price changes offset most, but not all, of the increased labour costs we face,” Subway’s announcement said. “We’re hoping to manage through the balance by implementing cost savings opportunities that don’t directly impact on our customer’s (sic) Subway restaurant experience.”
Howe Family Farm
Interestingly, the owners of Howe Family Farms, an Ontario-based fruit and vegetable provider, told The Globe and Mail they plan to give workers making more than minimum wage a 20 percent pay increase because it’s not fair for minimum-wage workers to now be making the same as senior-level employees.
“It’s not fair to them to not have the same pay increase,” Kevin Howe, who runs the farm with his dad and brother, said.
He said the pay hike for upper-level staffers is a way to encourage loyalty.
“The more management that you have who are pulling in the same direction as the operation, it makes things a lot smoother and a lot less stress on myself, my dad and my brother,” Howe explained.
But not every business owner can be like the Howes. Only time will tell how the minimum-wage hike truly changes Ontario’s economy.