Hello Pigeon, I have missed you so much!

There is a lot of comments about people not wanting to return to work in offices by some employers / folks / politicians.  Some employers are having trouble filling some open positions. After looking at some of the companies and what they pay, why should anyone work for them? Let us be real here, the majority of people want to work, just not for you and here is why:

In the GTA, a livable minimum wage is $23 per hour. Personally, I believe its more like $28 but according to recent stats, $23 per hour is current livable wage. Now, most employers around here, seem to be offering part time/full time at $14.25 to $16 per hour depending on the position. Anyone seen the price of rent in this area lately? Like wow!

Many conservatives blame the Canada Recovery Benefit or EI as the problem, because it pays too much. Really? Clearly those that talk like this have never been on either. Let us break it down. If you worked a full-time job at 40 hours per week at $500 per week, your hourly wage is $12.50 per hour. Which is $10.50 per hour less that the current livable wage in the area. But you are offering part-time, maybe full time at $14.25 per hour. Yes, lets go for less so workers can get further behind, makes perfect sense…really sparky? See your own logic here?

The idea of working is to make your life better, not worse, or have to rely on food banks. The idea of working is to provide and live a life, not just to exist. So, why should anyone work for you if you pay anything less then allows people to live their life? They should not, it is that simple. The idea that someone would rather stay on CRB or EI, should be screaming at what you are doing wrong to hire employees. Some of you do not even put out schedules for two-weeks at a time, so your employees can plan to live a life outside of work, and despite the law saying you must post a two-week schedule in Ontario. If you cannot understand any of this, I am sorry, you do not deserve good employees.

Yes, you as an employer are taking all the risks, so you should get the rewards. No one is denying your ability to be rewarded. But let us be honest here. Many CEOs are now realizing that if they pay livable wages, they benefit more then they ever could. Employees stay, they are loyal and tend to work harder and longer than anyone can ask of them. Their profits go up, customer satisfaction has gone up, repeat business has gone up, and these employers have stimulated their employee’s local economy because their employees have spent more money in local areas. This in turn has helped a business like yours, but you decided to pay minimum wage and pocket everything you can on the back of your own employees. Can you say Costco anyone? The starting wage of a full-time cashier is $45K per year with benefits. Yes, that is a big company and most of you are small business, but do you work for the business you have or the business you want?

Remember, employees want to live, not just exist. They want to plan time with their family, yet if you cannot even get a schedule out for two-weeks in advance, how can they? Do not just make your business about yourself, make it about your business which includes your employees. Once you do that, you will be rewarded in ways you never thought possible, plus, your business will grow.

Start thinking about every community, not just your own house. Because that is pre-COVID thinking, and those ways are not good for anyone and COVID proved that.

Let me know which business you are and that you pay a livable wage with putting up a two-week schedule, and I will use your business before any big box store like Walmart who clearly pay low wages and use self check-outs to cut down labour costs.


Your potential Customer, with love

Geri Atrick

About the Author

Geri Atrick is co-host of Not So Str8 Talk, a show that focuses on marginalized & 2SLGBTQ+. Geri also organizes national events around music and the arts, is deeply passionate and active in politics, and is an advocate on many social justice issues. Giver her a little wine and you will never know what she will say. Check out the show at www.str8talk.ca or at Hunters Bay Radio