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10th of December 2018


Inadequate wages in Nova Scotia tourism -

Published on : Thursday, December 6, 2018

Bill Black’s Dec. 1 column on the shortage of workers in the Nova Scotia tourism sector and reasons for shortage needs a response.

Mr. Black’s commitment for this province cannot be doubted, and his pieces are informative. He is conservative, plain and simple.

Mr. Black has written about labour shortage issues in the tourism industry. He is probably right about the shortages. He alleges that there is a shortage of workers in the tourism sector because the government makes available employment insurance, which when one becomes eligible to receive it, induces workers to leave their jobs, thereby compromising the tourism industry.

For many in the industry, the wages are just too low. The average number of hours a week that an individual in the service industry in Nova Scotia might get was 29.8, and that the wages for many in the industry hovered at or a dollar or two above the then-statutory minimum wage.

And of course, many of these jobs aren’t even year-round. Bearing these numbers in mind, it would be a fair bet that those earning higher wages in the industry are not likely to jump ship when they become eligible for EI.

Minimum-wage earners in Nova Scotia live in poverty. They work hard, often without benefits, and never seem to catch up. When their value is not reflected in their pay, it is only best to walk away. It is truly “poor return on investment.”

Tags: Nova Scotia Tourism

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