Bakers Journal

No help for foodservice industry in Man. budget

April 14, 2011
By Bakers Journal

April 14, 2011, Winnipeg – A lackluster provincial budget was further
tarnished by the decision to raise Manitoba’s minimum wage for the
seventh time in six years, according to the Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association (CRFA).

The association warns this is an especially important issue for the
province’s restaurant industry, where 30 cents of every dollar goes
directly to labour costs.

“Unfortunately the government is pursuing a policy of wage inflation,
not job creation,” said Dwayne Marling, Manitoba-Saskatchewan
vice-president for the CRFA. “This latest increase will hurt the very
people it is meant to help. If the government really wanted to address
poverty, they would significantly raise the basic personal tax
exemption, not the minimum wage.”

“The province holds up the elimination of the small business tax as the
solution to every business owner’s challenges,” Marling continued. “But
this is only helpful when businesses are actually making money.
Restaurants always work on tight margins, but in today’s economic
climate many are struggling with profitability.”


In a press release, the CRFA noted, “Last year’s 50 cent minimum wage
hike, which took effect Oct. 1, cost Manitoba’s restaurant operators an
estimated $16 million – or $7,000 per restaurant – in increased labour
costs. The hike was six times the rate of inflation (+0.9 per cent).
Given this gap, another increase is clearly unnecessary.”

Manitoba’s $1.7 billion restaurant and foodservice industry, which
directly employs more than 41,000 people, is one of the largest
employers in the province.

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