Quebec minimum wage drops to $ 13.50, but some employees and employers are both dissatisfied
MONTREAL – Quebec’s minimum wage rose to $ 13.50 an hour on Saturday, but few people in the province seem happy with the change.
The $ 0.40 increase frustrated minimum wage workers, saying it was not enough. Maxime Dmitrienko, an employee of NDG Esposito’s grocery store, said the change would not change his situation.
“It doesn’t reflect the cost of the real living wage, especially with the cost of housing and rent prices in big cities like Montreal and Toronto,” he said. “It does not reflect a living wage.”
Dmitrienko said he feared the store’s prices would rise to cover rising wages, a concern echoed by his boss.
“I don’t think people really benefit from it in the long run because, as everyone knows, the costs are always passed on to consumers, especially for small businesses,” said Tony Esposito.
Esposito said he was trying to absorb the cost of rising wages without raising prices, for now.
He noted that the increase does not only impact his employees who earn minimum wage.
“The person who has been working for a year, two or three also needs to be increased, because it’s not fair if someone walks in the door and gets a job and starts doing the same as someone who’s been there for. two or three years. “
Shalina Davis worked in the store during the pandemic and said the increase was welcome.
“I feel like with everything that’s going on, we’ve worked really hard. It’s a good thing we’re getting a little more than what we’re getting now, especially with customers and COVID, ”she said.
The Quebec government announced the salary increase on Friday, calling it a means of ensuring fair compensation without harming employment or the competitiveness of businesses. But the Canadian Federation of Independent Business disagreed with this assessment. Spokesman François Vincent said small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling and the government should have introduced tax breaks alongside the increase.
“Sixty-eight percent of SMEs in Quebec have lower than normal sales,” he said. “We have a third of
of SMEs are worried about their cash flow. This is not going well for SMEs and the economy. “