Colin Pearce and Gilleen Witkowski are owners of Walk My Dog Toronto. They are business owners who support the increase in minimum wage. (Lucas Oleniuk / Toronto Star)
EXHIBIT A: MEAN AND DUMB
Too often, we hear the same old story about minimum wage increases. Business owners have to slash costs like benefits just to survive. Then we find out the truth.
Most employers are just mean and dumb.
Take a look at what one employee is experiencing. He will make $51 less per pay check. Increasing minimum wage did not do this to him. The owners did.
The owners are taking that $51 away from him by cutting benefits. Then they blame the government. From a human side, this is ugly behavior. From the business side, this is stupid.
Those benefits were put in place to improve retention of employees. Presumably by reducing expensive turnover and retraining. By the sound of it, that program worked.
Now, instead, for a few extra bucks per paycheck, these businesses are not only giving up their retention program, they are attacking the very employees who make their businesses work. Remember those businesses by name.
EXHIBIT B: HEART AND SMART
The two employers in the story decided to pay their workers the new minimum wage and more: it made good business sense and it just felt right.
In a world with both kinds of employer types, what is the best (just and profitable) wage policy? How about the one that helps employees and levels the playing field for smart employers. Make it easier for good employers to do what’s right by forcing the bad ones to do the same. Increase minimum wage to $15 an hour. Remember which businesses did so before they had to. Also remember who slashed benefits