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Action needed to protect N.B.’s foodservice jobs: CRFA


June 8, 2011
By Canadian Pizza

June 8, 2011, Fredericton – Introducing tip and training differentials ahead of a scheduled minimum wage hike in September will protect restaurant jobs in New Brunswick, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) says.

"The minimum wage increase introduced in early 2010 has been a job killer," says Luc Erjavec, CRFA's vice-president for Atlantic Canada. "Between 2009 and 2010, 2,100 jobs were lost in foodservice with 1,300 involving young people under the age of 25."

"In the March budget address, Finance Minister Higgs suggested changing the minimum wage policy because of its impact on youth employment and foodservice," says Erjavec. "The time to act is now. A tip differential will help protect the hours of work and tip income for those who rely on those hours to earn tips, and a training differential will encourage employers to hire more first-time employees."

Recently, Alberta and British Columbia joined Ontario and Quebec by introducing a tip differential for liquor servers. Nova Scotia and Ontario have training differentials to encourage hiring first-time employees.

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New Brunswick's restaurant industry encompasses more than 1,600 restaurants, caterers and bars. It employs 21,500 people and is the fourth-largest employer in the province.