The provincial government’s plan to increase minimum wages over the next three years will negatively impact businesses, said Vern Gorham the manager of the Creston Valley of Commerce.
Slated to start June 1, 2018, with a jump to $12.20 and then increasing annually on June 1 until $15.20 is reached in 2021, the wage hikes come at a time when businesses are already struggling to make ends meet.
“At a time of big question marks in regards to the impact of NAFTA negotiations, and the potential of a brewing trade war with Alberta, a rapid rise in the minimum wage is the last thing that businesses need right now,” explains Gorham. “These are not positive scenarios for employees, employers or the economy as a whole.”
Gorham says rapid increases may result in businesses having to cut jobs, or cut down on employee hours in order to continue operations, pushing up through a company’s workforce and rendering them uncompetitive.”
“When minimum wages go up, there tends to be a correlating increase in all wages in an organization which adds additional strain to our businesses at a time of tremendous flux and a murky looking future. Increases in minimum wages over the long term tied to the CPI is a good thing, but the timing of this is simply bad with all that is going on.”
The Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce joins the BC Chamber of Commerce, and their member Chambers and Boards of Trade across BC, in opposing a near-term rapid rise in the minimum wage to $15/hour.