Letter: Business wouldn’t exist without minimum wager earners

Menial task workers…are essential to the survival of business and yet we place them on the bottom of the pay list.

To the editor:

It saddens me to read the Our View editorial in April 6 Kelowna Capital News under the heading Stretching Our Wages Further. But what can we expect when our provincial premier cut back the minimum wage and gave her cabinet a significant raise?

Yes, just raising the minimum wage does no good. We need to get rid of the large monopolies of the retail trade that claim they cannot afford to pay a liveable wage to their workers and use part-time labor to fill full time jobs.

They can afford to overpay CEOs but cut expenses by offering less services like bagging and checking, carrying heavy items and having customers stand in long lines.

They also can afford to pay their shareholders who do no physical labor.

In1995 the average pay for the highest paid CEO was $266 million and in 2009 their pay was raised 22 per cent. We need to be free of foreign retailers. In 2011 there was a 53 per cent increase of the top leading retailers.

What we must learn is to recognize the importance of the menial task workers. The employers could not do business without them—where would they be if they had no one to load their shelves, to clean and to serve? They are essential to the survival of the business and yet we place them on the bottom of the pay list.

We tend to be hypocrites as we condemn other countries that operate sweatshops and exploit labourers, yet we are guilty of doing the same exploitation.

Support Canadian businesses that recognize the value of their workers by paying them a liveable wage, full-time employment and all the benefits of full-time work. If an employer cannot do that then they should not be in business.

Wake up Canada, don’t wait for a bloody revolution that is bound to happen if we continue to let the gap between the rich and the poor continue to grow.

We have a wonderful country; we can improve in our governing of it.

Art Ferguson, West Kelowna