Southwest faces a wage problem, not a labour problem

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Editor:

In response to the article on Jason Kenney in the Feb. 6 Southwest Booster.

All we heard was there was a labour shortage and its being addressed by possibly brining in foreign workers. The whole labour, wage, labour shortage needs a closer look.

It is not true that foreign workers get a wage subsidy up to half their wage. So, naturally, its way more of a financial windfall for the business owner to hire foreign workers over local.

Businesses are not training workers because they are worried they'll be poached by the oil and gas industry. Why not pay more than minimum wage? If you would pay more they would come, but to speak the truth nowadays that is frowned on or politically incorrect.

Its not a labour shortage as much as a wage shortage. People here are being asked to work for minimum wage when basic bills are coming in at more than minimum wage. I challenge any businessman or government worker to work for their workers wage and see how desperate you become.

The wage field is not a level playing field and it's a fact that needs to be honestly addressed.

I've worked with foreign workers before and have no problems with them. WHy not have training skills for older people that if they pass are partly forgivable. Canadian workers are here and willing to work, yet the playing field must be levelled.

Can we get some honesty on this? The people of Saskatchewan (workers) deserve it.

Rob Bennett - Swift Current

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Swift Current

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Recent comments

  • Conrad
    February 13, 2014 - 21:53

    Good to see the federal Cons are going to bat to make sure wealthy employers have a way around paying a competitive wages to local youth looking to start out and buy a house. Not willing to work for minimum? Well Harper will do every thing he can to help Wall out with his mission to keep the under educated working class from earning a fair wage by bringing in bottom dollar immigrant workers.

  • Conrad
    February 12, 2014 - 19:29

    Employers get what they pay for. If they aren't willing to pay competitive wages, they will not get good workers, especially for late night drive through. Too bad the federal Cons are again to the rescue of the cheap skate boss!

  • Skeptic
    February 10, 2014 - 16:57

    Couldn't agree more. Brad Wall is addicted to cheap foreign labor. A bit hypocritical, as Wall and the SaskParty used to deny the value of a "minimum" wage in a "market" based economy, the logic being a strong economy has to pay more to attract workers. Problem is, the "labor market" is not Saskatchewan, but the world, and 6 billion people would do anything for their kids to grow up in Canada. Despite Wall's claims of "growth" Saskatchewan depends on foreign workers and families, most coming to work menial labor, fast food or other undesirable jobs for at or near minimum wage. Harper used to even allow employers to discount foreign wages up to 15 percent. So "minimum" wage does matter. For single mom's. For those who didn't go on to college or have a learning disability or physical injury. These people may have gotten ahead with strong wages. But thanks to Wall begging for more cheap foreign laborers, local low income earners find it harder than ever to break the cycle of poverty. If the economy is so strong, we can afford moore than minimum wage to attract workers, rather than having to ship in the impoverished of the third world. (to be fair the other half of Saskatchewan's growth is First Nations births). Neither a true indicator of economic might eh Bradly?