FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2011
FREDERICTON – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) supports the New Brunswick government’s plan to postpone the next increase in minimum wage for six months. The minimum wage increase to $10/hour was postponed from Sept. 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012.
“Since 2010, restaurant operators have been struggling with wage hikes five times higher than other economic indicators. These massive increases have been one of the main reasons the restaurant industry has lost 2,100 jobs over the past year,” says Luc Erjavec, CRFA’s Atlantic Canada Vice President. “Premier Alward and his government must be congratulated for recognizing the difficulty small businesses have faced in dealing with these raises – they deserve credit for making the right decision and giving small businesses a short respite.”
“Postponing the increase is a great first step given the slow economic recovery in the region,” continues Erjavec. “We hope government will use this period to move forward with the implementation of a two-tier wage system that recognizes the high cost of training inexperienced workers and the significant income earned by tipped employees.”
The province’s restaurant industry encompasses more than 1,600 restaurants, caterers and bars employing 21,500 New Brunswickers. It is the fourth-largest employer in the province with more workers than farming, fishing, mining and forestry combined.
According to a recent Ipsos poll for Kraft Foodservice Canada and CRFA, 22 per cent of Canadians were first employed by the restaurant industry.
CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s $60-billion foodservice industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.
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