Sunday, February 4, 2018

Minimum Wage - Another Piece of Straw

I read "Restaurants 'taking from Peter to pay Paul' amid minimum wage hike" by CBC Marketplace and thought "here we go." I knew that the minimum wage hike was not going to have the desired effect, but I am quite disappointed that businesses are taking their hardship out on their employees. Once again, those who can least afford to pay, are going to shoulder the burden for everyone. Maybe this is the time to review wages across the board.

Now, I can hear the business owner's cry out "yes, but it's not our fault, the government saddled us with this burden, and s**t rolls downhill." I'm sorry, that is not acceptable. The actions shown in this Marketplace report, and those of certain Tim Horton's franchisees are unethical. Not only should you not be surprised when the public blames you, should should be ashamed for having tried it in the first place. I have written extensively on Ethical Debt in the past, check it out if you don't understand. The citizens of Ontario need to be made to see this for what it is, an increased tax on business. Like all tax increases, it will work its way through the entire supply chain, and end with the person purchasing the final item.

If business owners feel hard-done-by, why don't you take it out on Kathleen Wynne? When June 2018 rolls around, the populous of Ontario will vote, and the Wynne government will be unaffected (or even rewarded) for this tax because people will not see the long-term impact of her actions. Any rage that is generated, will be directed to businesses who are seen to be greedy by those with little or no knowledge of the true costs of entrepreneurship.

Instead, I suggest that you embrace this increase, and propagate it throughout your organisation... and quickly. Ask yourself, why do some people make more money than others? Does the person who makes more than minimum wage really add more value? If so, how much more? Then adjust her or his wage accordingly. If not, this becomes a training opportunity. This is an opportunity to begin paying people based on the value they provide, rather than the minimum that is required. It may seem trite, but if you care about your people, they will care about your business.

Obviously, these increases will have to be reflected in the prices of goods and services. After all, you are in business to earn a profit, not as a charity. However, I am not proposing that you have carte-blanche to gouge the consumer, but it is appropriate that your expenses are covered. And when the consumers are upset by the hit on their pocket-book, they will direct their anger to the person who initiated the hit, Kathleen Wynne. If you hold off, and try to survive, you will not only be putting your business at greater risk, but you will be letting the Wynne government get away with this attack on your livelihood.

We are all camels here. Each one carrying a burden for the values that our society holds dear. Let us be careful not to transfer our straw to our neighbouring camels, but rather refuse any additional straw that is placed on us just to win votes.

No comments:

Post a Comment