'Hard to lower someone's wage': More than 100 businesses to keep youth wages at $15
CTV News Edmonton
Published Monday, June 24, 2019 9:59AM MDT
Last Updated Monday, June 24, 2019 6:43PM MDT
The provincial government will reduce the minimum wage for students this week, but not all employers will be cutting their salaries.
Bill 2, which takes effect Wednesday, allows employers to pay youth workers a minimum of $13, instead of $15, per hour.
The wage reduction applies to students who work 28 hours or fewer per week.
But despite the new legislation, more than 100 businesses have vowed to maintain student wages at least at $15.
Alberta 15 lists organizations that are not cutting their employee’s wages. Popeye's Louisiana Chicken is one of the restaurants that plans to maintain their youth workers' salaries.
"We feel like if we have our team members' backs, they'll have ours," said Kyle Ferbey, a Popeye's franchisor. "I find it really hard to lower someone's wage that's already on our team, and especially with hiring people that are new, to pay them less than their coworkers just doesn't seem right."
Ferbey estimates that paying his 45 youth workers more than the new minimum wage will cost upwards of $65,000.
According to Statistics Canada, Alberta currently has the highest hourly minimum wage in the country at $15.