OCC Speaks Out on $14.00 Minimum Wage Issue
November 8, 2013
Ontario is in a period of economic transition and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce firmly believes the policy choices made today will impact our province’s competitiveness for generations to come.
A government panel is currently carrying out consultations on how to set the minimum wage but there is broad consensus that the current process governing the minimum wage does not work for employers and workers.
The OCC has consulted its membership through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. The consultations have revealed that members want a process for setting the minimum wage that is based on four principles:
Predictability. Employers want a process that provides predictability so that they can plan, grow, and invest with confidence.
Transparency: Employers need a process that is open and de-politicized.
Fairness. Employers want a process that considers the impact on both employers and workers.
Promotes Ontario’s competitiveness. Employers are job-creators and decisions on minimum wage should not discourage investment, job creation, and economic growth.
As such, the OCC recommends the minimum wage be keyed to the Consumer Price Index, an approach most consistent with the four principles. It also urges members of the panel to consider the impact that significant and arbitrary minimum wage hikes can have on businesses and employment.
For many employers and particularly those in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, a decision to ‘make up for lost time’ would exacerbate the challenges they face and hinder Ontario’s economic recovery.