Restaurant industry applauds New Brunswick's reconsideration of wages

FREDERICTON, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) commends the New Brunswick government's re-examination of minimum wage to assist small businesses and grow job opportunities in the province.

"Finance Minister Blaine Higgs's comments that the province should look at a two- tiered minimum wage is positive for restaurants and all small businesses in the province," says Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Vice President Atlantic Canada. "A lower wage for inexperienced workers or those who earn tips is common practice in other Canadian jurisdictions."

"Small businesses in New Brunswick, particularly during an economic downturn, have been hit hard by the 21 per cent increase in minimum wage implemented by the previous government," continues Erjavec. "A two-tier wage system recognizes the high cost of training inexperienced workers and significant income earned by tipped employees, and could help employers create new jobs across the province."

As one of New Brunswick's largest private-sector employers, the restaurant industry has more than 24,000 direct employees - more than farming, fishing, forestry and mining combined. Additionally, the industry:

  • provides nearly one in five jobs for young people under the age of 25;
  • encompasses more than 1,600 commercial establishments, forming a core part of the province's social and economic fabric and generating jobs and investment across communities; and
  • supports and promotes local cuisine and agriculture, and is a major buyer of chicken, dairy, seafood, potatoes and emerging crops such as cranberries and blueberries.

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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