Unskilled Labour Makes Too Much $

You’re right. That heading is a blanket statement that is not true, but I wanted to catch your attention.

Did you know that a Toronto Transit Commission worker who sits behind a glass (plexiglass?) window and collects and sells tokens and tickets for riding the subway makes about $55,000 a year? And that those City of Toronto workers that you see picking up litter make about $44,000 a year?

Did you also know that the average retail worker in Toronto probably makes under $20,000 a year? And finally, what about the people that manage all those stores in the mall, or the ones that manage all those fast food places? Managers! They hire and fire and ensure that the paper work is done, etc. Lots of responsibility. Far more than that litter collector or ticket seller. What do they make? Surely they can command more than a litter collector. In fact, they easily qualify for more than the ticket seller. Sadly, no!

Big unions are able to force big employers to pay big money for unskilled labour. Yes, I know the argument. We need to provide people with a means to make a decent wage. But maybe to earn that decent wage you should have to have some decent skills.

Toronto councillor Shelley Carroll, the city’s budget chief, claims that ticket collectors get spit at and harrassed. Well, I say that this is what the window is for. What about the harrassment that retail workers have to endure? Have you ever seen the way some customers treat a grocery store clerk, who, unless they work under a good union, probably makes a whopping $10 or so an hour.

Tell you what. Let’s enact a law that automatically enrolls every retail clerk and every fast food worker into a union that will negotiate a serious living wage for them. Let’s see what happens when Walmart and McDonalds have to start paying their staff $25 an hour. Then all those unskilled people who are lucky enough to work under big powerfull unions will find out that $26.58 an hour isn’t so hot anymore.

Let’s pay unskilled labour a more realistic wage. If they don’t like it, they can do what the professionals do to earn what is often a similar wage. Go back to school.

One Comment

  1. Jess says:

    i totally agree with what you have said… it’s unfair… i’m starting to despise unions. Like one of my coworkers said “the unions have done their job during the revolution”, I totally agree and I think they should stop protecting the unskilled