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‘Protect First Jobs’ petition launched in Alberta


June 19, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

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June 19, 2015, Edmonton – More than 800 Alberta business owners, managers, employees and customers have signed an online petition calling on the provincial government to modify its minimum wage plan. 

Restaurants Canada created the website ProtectFirstJobs.ca to explain the impact 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, the association said in a news release.

“We are not opposed to minimum wage increases. Our concern is with the unintended consequences of raising it by 50 per cent so quickly, and at a time when the economy is slowing dramatically,” said Mark von Schellwitzthe, vice-president, Western Canada.

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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  1. Adjust minimum wage based on the current economic climate, and announce increases annually to allow for necessary adjustments.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.