WINNIPEG, April 12 /CNW/ - A lacklustre budget was further tarnished by
the decision to raise the minimum wage for the seventh time in six
years - an especially important issue for the restaurant industry,
where 30 cents of every dollar goes directly to labour costs.
"Unfortunately the government is pursuing a policy of wage inflation,
not job creation," said Dwayne Marling, Manitoba-Saskatchewan Vice
President for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
(CRFA). "This latest increase will hurt the very people it is meant to
help. If the government really wanted to address poverty they would
significantly raise the basic personal tax exemption, not the minimum
Last year's 50-cent minimum wage hike, which took effect Oct. 1, cost
Manitoba's restaurant operators an estimated $16 million - or $7,000
per restaurant - in increased labour costs. The hike was six times the
rate of inflation (+0.9%). Given this gap, another increase is clearly
"The province holds up the elimination of the Small Business Tax as the
solution to every business owner's challenges," said Marling. "But this
is only helpful when businesses are actually making money. Restaurants
always work on tight margins, but in today's economic climate many are
struggling with profitability."
Manitoba's $1.7-billion restaurant and foodservice industry is one of
the largest employers in the province. More than 41,000 people are
directly employed in foodservice, making it one of the top five private
sector employers in Manitoba. More than half of these employees are
young people under the age of 25.
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
SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
For further information:
Dwayne Marling, CRFA Manitoba-Saskatchewan Vice President, 204-268-8557 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or email@example.com.