I Support the Fair Wage Bill Because:
I have been a security guard since mid 2009. I feel on to hard times and security was the only line of work hiring locally in a time of economic confusion. I found my way in just before the course work was deemed mandatory. But my employer still had my thoroughly trained to ensure I passed the mandatory testing that all guards were required to pass.
I passed with a precision of 94%. Highest average in the company I worked for at the time. But that didn't matter. My knowledge and skill set meant little more than twenty five cents more than minimum wage.
It's then I saw the failed logic behind security work. We are free to contract out to whichever company we choose. But security contracts are vastly determined by a faulty auction system. Lowest bid gets the contract. And when the lowest bid wins, the employer usually trims the fat right off of their employee's wages.
Even now. I was sold that we would get more competitive wages with the company I work for now. I work for twelve cents an hour over minimum. I now work two jobs to make ends meet.
I work full time over nights at a Tim Horton's on top of working part time at my security job. Why part time? Because my employer only has part time in my area and the wage to commute to another city is not worth the drive.
And that's the other hitch. Security work wants us to work on the client's time. On call. All day. Everyday. But work part time hours in the mean time. And be willing to travel for our employer. All on a minimum wage?
We pay $80 out of pocket every two years for a license. We buy our own safety boots. We pay uniform fees or rentals. We pay for our first aid training. We pursue our own further education into realms like Certified Protection Officer or Baton and Handcuffing. And we do it all on our own income. All to earn a meager $11 and hour.
And I see it everyday. Our employers want a younger and more energetic presence. Yet they do little to nothing to entice that type of work force. And many of the people who would like this to be a career path are plagued with enduring coworkers who simply don't care. Because it's just another meager wage job to laze around over. And clients start to realise their interests aren't being respected. Which leads us to this endless cycle of seeking a new contract via auctions upon contract renewal. Yay.
Make no mistake. My employer is great. I've had no issue. And I'm not pinning any fault at them. A business is like any person. If there is a way to save your money, you'll take advantage of it. If the legislation in Ontario allows a company to save money by allowing security employers to hire at minimum wage, they would be insane not to. It's up to Provincial legislation to say "this is where you CAN'T trim the fat".