Thursday, July 6

Calgary: Shortage of labour and increasing price of housing

Last Friday, Abbeydale Esso at 220 68 St. N.E. closed its doors, leaving only a cardboard sign in the window reading: "Closed for undetermined time due to labour shortage."

But that is not the whole story. Let's hear a manager from another store:

Masciangelo said she wrestled with shutting down the store for months before realizing she had little other choice.

"It was a three to four month process of bitter tears and anger," she said.

Masciangelo described the potential employees she interviewed as "unmotivated" and "pampered," unwilling to accept the $10 an hour pay, as well as a 25% in-store discount.

So, the reason of closing the store is not the shortage of labour. It's the shortage of cheap labour. The store owners wants to hire skilled, trained people with $10 an hour pay, when the price of housing has growing up 50% from June, 2005.

Yes, the Royal LePage reports that the price of a standard two-story resale home 54.6% to $397,867, compare to 1 year ago. The increasing of house brings up the price of food, clothes, labour, that means, people have to pay 50% more in housing and living, so how can you expect them to accept the same salary as last year's?

For example, in Calgary, you have to pay 35 cents to use the public payphone, when in most other cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor, you only need to pay 25 cents. So that is 40% higher than in other cities. Why can't we expect 40% higher salary?