BC Premier John Horgan didn’t hold back in his reasons for raising the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour on June 1st.
The move will help over 300-thousand workers in the province, including liquor servers who will now be earning the same as everyone else.
Live-in camp leaders and resident caretakers are also included in the wage hike.
In an interview with Vista Radio, Horgan stated the benefits outweigh the negatives.
“In my youth, I have served drinks and my work was the same as it was in the kitchen and the front desk and I believe that all workers should have a basic minimum wage. We committed to $15 dollars an hour by 2021 and here we are.”
Restaurants and bars have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, dealing with reduced indoor dining capacity as well as adapting to a take-out and delivery model.
Horgan explained why the NDP followed through with its campaign promise instead of waiting until after the pandemic to help ease the burden of an already struggling hospitality sector.
“Now that we have reached that point, the inflation rate will determine the annual increases to the minimum wage. But, we had a lot of catching up to do and on the server wage, we looked and talked with severs and said it wasn’t fair that they were being paid less for working the same amount of time.”
“Most restaurants have tip pools so that the gratuities are spread throughout. I know when I was a server a portion of the tips that I was able to receive went into the general pot to lift everybody’s wages up – that’s how the hospitality sector works. I believe we have made enough changes to how liquor is distributed that those servers should be paid the same wage as everyone else in the business.”
Some of the changes to liquor distribution include restaurants and off-sale providers having more flexibility to buy directly from the Liquor Distribution Branch and to put markups in place that makes the best sense to them.