Bakers Journal

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‘Protect First Jobs’ campaign launched


June 30, 2015
By Bakers Journal

June 18, 2015, Edmonton – More than 800 business owners, managers, employees and customers have already signed an online petition calling on the government to modify its minimum wage plan.


Restaurants Canada created the website
ProtectFirstJobs.ca to explain the effect of raising the minimum wage too high, too fast – particularly on first-time, entry-level jobs for young people and those who earn a large part of their income from gratuities.

“We are not opposed to minimum wage increases. Our concern is with the unintended consequences of raising it by 50 percent so quickly, and at a time when the economy is slowing dramatically,” says the association’s vice-president, Mark von Schellwitz.

Restaurants Canada is urging government to work with employers to create wage and job growth for Albertans, starting with these measures:

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  • Adjust minimum wage based on the current economic climate, and announce increases annually to allow for necessary adjustments.
  • Keep the current liquor-server differential, which recognizes that servers in licensed restaurants and bars are not minimum wage earners when you factor in their substantial gratuity income. This allows restaurateurs to pay more to staff who don’t earn tips.
  • Introduce a first-job wage differential to encourage small businesses to continue to hire entry-level job-seekers and students under the age of 18.