Government denies servants a fair share


So the B.C. government has raised the minimum wage to $9.50.


So the B.C. government has raised the minimum wage to $9.50. This takes us from the lowest to an average position compared to the other provinces in Canada; except for servers, who are only assured $8.75 per hour.

The government justifies paying servers, waiters and waitresses less than other workers because they are supposed to make up the difference through tips.

In this way the government perpetuates a discriminatory system that denies waiters, waitresses, and other servants their fair share of the universal benefits available to all other Canadian workers.

Tipping originated in English pubs during the 18 century as an incentive for waiters and waitresses to give prompt service.

TIP is an acronym for “To Insure Promptness.” It was paid before the customer had eaten or drunk; when he gave his order. I’m sure it worked better than the modern custom of tipping after the service.

The modern practice is at best, a reward for exceptional service and at worst an extra levy placed on the customer by the restaurant or bar owner.

In the case of some ocean cruises and many hotels it is an automatic percentage addition to the account and a customer must state at check in or when a reservation is made that he or she wishes not to tip in this way.

Tips are not covered by unemployment insurance; nor do they count when calculating employee benefits that a worker might receive from an employer; medical, sick leave, holidays etc.

They do not count for Canada or Old Age Pensions yet they are considered taxable income when it is time to collect income tax.

Tipping is a way for employers and governments to off load their responsibility to pay fair wages and benefits to their workers.

It requires the customer to subsidise the workers, the employers and the government at the expense of both the customer and the worker.

If workers were paid and treated fairly there would be no need for tipping, except as a reward for exceptional service; something like a CEO’s corporate bonus?.

What’s wrong with that, eh?


Ian Carnie