Restaurant owners: paying $100/hr not enough to entice Canadians to work in their kitchens

Even if restaurants offered $100 an hour for kitchen jobs, they'd still need to hire temporary foreign workers to fill the posts because Canadian workers just don't want the jobs, the head of Canada's restaurant association says.

Garth Whyte, president of Restaurants Canada, made the comment during an interview Tuesday on CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon. He was there to plead with Employment Minister Jason Kenney to lift the memorandum on TFWs in the foodservice industry.

A labour shortage in the low-skill restaurant sector is quickly becoming a crisis, especially in certain part of the country, the association says. (As an aside, Restaurants Canada, along with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business -- the other main industry boosters of the TFWP for the low-skill service sector -- always find reasons to object to any proposed increase to a provincial minimum wage.)

When Solomon pressed Whyte about what critics of the program are saying -- raising the wages would entice some of the 1.3 million unemployment Canadians to fill the positions -- he responded:

"So let's raise it to a hundred bucks an hour and we'll still need them. That's the issue," said Whyte of TFWs.

Watch him explain why restaurants offering $182,000 a year to work a 35-hour week wouldn't see a flood of applicants from unemployed Canadians:

 

Photo: kubina. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 licence.

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