Action needed to protect New Brunswick from further job losses

FREDERICTON, June 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) urged New Brunswick to protect restaurant jobs by introducing tip and training differentials before the minimum wage increases again in September. Employing 21,500 New Brunswickers, the restaurant industry is the fourth-largest employer in the province with more workers than farming, fishing, mining and forestry combined.

"The minimum wage increase introduced in early 2010 has been a job killer," says Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Vice-President 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.

New Brunswick's restaurant industry encompasses more than 1,600 restaurants, caterers and bars. 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.

SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

For further information:

Luc Erjavec, 902-209-0804 (cell) or lerjavec@crfa.ca; Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca

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Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

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