A stagnant tide swamps poor boats, but floats the rich ones
August 25, 2017 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Losing Ground: Even as debates over the planned increased to the minimum wage increase in Ontario continue, a new report shows how earnings for poorer families fell between 2000 and 2015, while increasing for the richer 50%. (The first link goes to a webpage, from which the PDF can be downloaded).
posted by jb (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
"Minimum wage hikes to cost Loblaw an extra $190M next year" : "Loblaw Companies Ltd.
...warned Wednesday that minimum wage increases in Ontario and Alberta threaten to harm its bottom line and it will have to find ways to cut costs."

From the same article:

Galen Weston, CEO of Loblaw's, descibing minimum wage increases as "headwinds"

And the money shot: "Loblaw reported a second-quarter profit attributable to shareholders of $358 million or 89 cents per diluted share, up from its profit of $158 million or 39 cents per diluted share a year ago."

I'll admit that I don't run a large multimillion dollar corporation, but I'd like the think that, if I did, I wouldn't describe paying workers (what at least gets close to being, per the FPP) a living wage a bad thing. This goddamn responsibility to shareholders and not to the people who actually do the work and whom you extract value from is boggling. It boggles. All this while profits are way, WAY up.

But that's not even my main complaint, atm. My beef is with the media framing this story as one where an enterprising CEO has to make it work instead of one where maybe workers should get a larger slice of the goddamn growing pie.
posted by tummy_rub at 3:42 PM on August 25, 2017 [10 favorites]

There was a local guy here tweeting a list of businesses in the area who opposed paying their employees the living wage increase mentioned here. I have to say, it sure helped me figure out who didn't want my money. (Which also has the added shittiness of also not being able to support the employees they do have. It's just craptastic all around.)
posted by Kitteh at 3:48 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

The governor of Illinois just vetoed a bill to increase the state's minimum wage to $15/hr by 2022, claiming that "mainstream economic theory and mainstream economic evidence strongly suggest that an increase in the minimum wage of this magnitude will hurt the very individuals it seeks to help”.
posted by JoeZydeco at 4:05 PM on August 25, 2017

an increase in the minimum wage of this magnitude will hurt the very individuals it seeks to help

Just think how much better off they'd be if there was no minimum wage at all!
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 4:25 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

15$ by 2022 might as well be not raising it

25$ flat nationwide. Better yet, Tie it to the cost of renting a two bedroom in the area.
posted by The Whelk at 4:29 PM on August 25, 2017 [9 favorites]

Yeah, I work three different jobs, and all of them have had to pay me more every time the minimum wage goes up. Anything under $15/hr is pretty untenable without a lot of support, and it's not a fun life.
posted by sagc at 4:59 PM on August 25, 2017

Lately I often wish there was a guillotine emoji so I could succinctly express how I feel about Galen Weston and his ilk.
posted by rodlymight at 9:43 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you want to see a frightened workforce, amble into the food store in the St Clair Centre at Yonge & St Clair. It's below the Weston HQ, and apparently “Mr Galen” is known to pop down to the store for a chat now and again. The staff have permanently fixed grimaces as if every moment they're being watched and tested.

(It's also a flat-out weird store, packing a mix of No Name budget content with some very high end goods on overstuffed shelves. It's also where I experienced the White Chocolate Hider, a slightly deranged shopper who picked up all of the Ritter Sport White Chocolate bars and proceeded to hide them about the store.)
posted by scruss at 2:01 PM on August 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

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