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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 17, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Thuraday, January 17, 1�74 - THE LETHBRIPOE HERALD-9 Low-paid workers often short- changed OTTAWA (CP)-Louise Trottier, 58, works part-time for a chain of comer stores that for 10 years, she ''says, has paid her less than the Quebec minimum Wage. She is one of thousands of 'low-paid worlcers ap-^liiiirently short-changed Millions of dollars each year by employers who fail to comply with provincial and federal laws. Some observers, especially in the labor movement! say the cases that come to light are only a small part of the actual total. Lilce Mrs. Trottier, many worlcers say they are reluctant to register complaints. '1' Trottier Is not her real '^"'liame. She fears she would ^^I'ose her job if her ^'femployer Wnew of her com-plaints. , She worlcs about 20 hours "'a weelc and her earnings '%ere at first only a supple-' tnent to her husband's in-' ijoihe. But three years ago '.')ier husband, also 58, lost -half his salary when the '^ihall company he worlis for got into financial ti-ouble. �Mr. Trottier, too proud to '"([0 on unemployment insur-I'a'nce and unable to find ' ' Other worli, stayed with his ^'firm. His wife's small weelily earnings then began to take on greater significance. The total amount of ille-gally-withheld pay collected later by provincial and federal governments is unknown. A Cross-Canada Survey by The Canadian Press in-dicates that some provinces lack precise figures or decline to make them public. In Ontario, the province with the largest labor force- 3.5 million-about 12.4 million was reported collected for 36,209 workers in the first 11 months of 1973 from 8,829 employers accused of pay violations. Quebec government officials revealed that in the first 10 months of 1973 a total of 1920,732 was recovered in unpaid minimum wages and holiday pay. A Quebec official said that in August, 1973, there were investigations involving 25,810 employees. The province's minimum-wage commission estimates that 325,000 employees would be paid at or less than the minimum if the commission did not exist. With recent increases in almost every province as living costs rose, minimum-wage levels now range between $1.65 and 12.25. The lowest is in the Atlantic provinces, the highest in British Columbia. Minimum-wage laws pdse a difficult problem for governments. Policing is costly and time-consuming. Most employers comply with legislation, government sources say, and many who break the law do it through ignorance. The vast majority of employers willingly pay up when government inspectors fhid out they are not paying enough, officials say. Most offenders are small enterprises - grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and tourist establishments, for example. Many of the workers involved are recent immigrants with poor knowledge of Canadian laws or poor understanding of English or French. Many persons who have dealt with minimum-wage problems feel that employees and employers should be made more aware of the laws. "Underpayment has been going on and on and on since labor legislation was introduccfd," said a Alberta government official. Other government and union spokesmen said it is hard to pinpoint violations. Many politicians approach the minimum-wage question cautiously, fearing that rapid increases may cause unemployment by forcing marginal businesses to close. "Some industries such as the textile, tourist and service industries cannot absorb great cost increases and still remain competitive," Ontario Labor Minister Fern Guindon said. Quebec's minister, Jean Cournoyer, bias advanced similar views. But government officials could cite no specific cases. In some cases, prices of goods and services have evidently risen as minimum wages went up. Labor spokesmen argue that present minimum levels are too low. Even the relatively high Ontario minimum of |2 an hour, set Jan. 1, would pay a 40-hour-week employee only $4,160 a year, well below the poverty level, one union leader said. Minimum wage levels and amounts of underpayment vary widely among the 11 jurisdictions in Canada. Federal: In the fiscal year 1972-73 inspectors identified $68,395 in underpayments to 479 employees after investigating 1,700 employers under federal jurisdiction. Federal officials first examine complaints from employees, then, "as resources permit," turn to routine investigation of employers. In the first nine months of. 1973, $27,416 in underpayments was recovered. The federal minimum is $1.90 an hour, to increase to $2.20 in April, when an estimated 19,300 workers will benefit. British Columbia: Government statistics do not break down minimum-wage underpayments but some employers have been asked to make up wages. The minimum went up to $2.25 from $2 Dec. 3 and is due to rise to $2.50 next June. Some B.C. labor spokesmen said a few employers have been taking advantage of legal loopholes. Alberta: Underpayments collected by the government in the first 11 months of 1973 totalled $96,242, with $72,450 arising from underpaid overtime. Good drivers get tickets If you are a good driver in Calgary, you may receive a ticket from a smiling policeman commending you for your good driving habits. SKI-CARRIERS A Frost Shields ? Safety Helmets (ll'.ll liir SnovMluihili'S ? Steering Wtieel Covers ? Hot Seats CAR WARMERS ? Starting Fluid ? Anti Freeze ^ Tire Chains ? Booster Cables ? Battery Terminal and Post Cleaner Orion Pile SEAT COVERS T f u( k Of Cat ? Auto Certificate Holders ? Electric Auto Cushion ? Hand Spot Lamp ? Sno-Brushes ? Anti-Freeze Testers ? Splash Guards Windshield Protectors ? Floor Mats ? Headlamps ? 200,000 CP. Driving and Fog Lamps * Dipstick Oil Heater ? Oil-Airand Gasoline Filters ENGINE HEATERS ( i'( ulcititiy in ii'ic ly()t' ? Headlamp Protectors ? Bosch Headlamp Kits ? Lo Mount Truck Mirrors MIDLAND AUTO SUPPLY 421 b\h St S ' L e I h b r I d g t' Ddily B 30 to 5 p m Thuis & Fri till 9 p rr Europe adopts cautious approach INSURANCE  LIABILITY  BONDS  AUTO  FIRE ROSSITER AGENCIES LTD. Ettabllthed 1911 Lemr Floer S17 4tti Av�. S. Phoiw �2T-1S41 Land Sales World Wide For several years we have advertised regularly In a large number of publications-nationally and Internationally. We have affiliations with leading Real Estate Firms In several countries. As a result of our efforts our land sales In 1973 were outstanding but- WE NOW NEED A WIDE VARIETY OF PROPERTIES-  3-larger ranches-300 head lo 1000 head  S-stralght grain or mixed farms-2 sections to 5 sections.  A 2-300 head ranch with the owner to continue for 2 years minimum.  A Va to 1 section mixed farm for a registered beef breeder.  A V: to 1 section Irrigated farm. PLEASE NOTE- We are starting to set up appointments for buyers now to see properties commencing In May. If you have LAND FOR SALE-call now as arrangements to inspect and prepare brochures take time. For full details of our successful land marketing program, copies of our Farm Sale Maps, call or write: CHARLES LEECH 2B4-3344 (24 hrs.) or 289-4161 (Res.) 6 full time land specialists for continuous action on your property. LAND DIVISION P.J. TOOLE & COTE REALTORS #222 North Hill Shopping Conlro, Calgary, Mborta T2N1M7 By CY FOX BRUSSELS (CP) - The European Common Market is adopting a liighly cautious ap-proacli to the conference on energy called by President Nixon. Even while agreeing that the European Community should be represented at the Nixon meeting, the Europeans seem determined to impose on the initial conference of oil-consuming countries guidelines of a European flavor. For instance, the policy-planning commission of the Common Market-probably reflecting the apprehensions of the Community's member states- doesn't want the Nixon conference to be construed as an attempt by the highly-industrialized countries to "gang up" on thie oil-producing states. This point of view would be consistent with Western European caution over any action that might offend the Arab countries which serve as the major sources of oil shipments to this part of the developed world. SPLIT CONTINUES The Western Europeans still have a long way to go in formulating a common energy policy of their own, conceived within the framework of their much-divided community. Still blocking immediate steps towards a common energy policy is the tortuous problem of agreement on a way of providing help for backward Community regimis. The latest meeting of the decision-taking council of Common Market ministers resulted in a further pos^ne-ment of any decision in this highly-controversial area. Until such an agreement is reached, following weeks of dispute between the British and the West Germans, Britain is likely to continue blocking steps on energy coordination other than such measures as Common Market agreement to participate in Nixon's much-vaunted conference. One of the most interesting disclosures to emerge from the latest meeting in Brussels of Common Market foreign ministers is that reported by an Irish official who said European worries now are no longer concentrated to the same degree as previously on questions of oil supplies. Instead, a major worry is financial-how newly-increased oil prices would affect Western balances of payment and how the Arab countries would use the immensely-enlarged payments they receive for their oil products in future. Japan leader to visit OTTAWA (CP) - Japanese Premier Kakuei Tanaka is ex-pected to visgit Canada, perhaps late this year. An external affairs department spokesman said yesterday Prime Minister Trudeau invited Mr. Tanaka about 10 days ago. Although no official reply has been received, Mr. Tanaka told reporters in Tokyo last week he likely will visit Canada and Australia sometime this year. LARGEST ANIMAL Vancouver Island s most significant animal is the Roosevelt elk, its largest terrestrial species. To help you choose the best bank service package v/e'te spelling ours out.. induding our reduced Termplan Personal Loan Rate. We'd like to tell you about our new Royal Certified Service In the kind of terms you'll appreciate If you're comparison-shopping. Royal Certified Service is a package of personal banking services for a single monthly fee of $3.00. It also includes several new conveniences that will make your banking simpler and less time-consuming too. As you read about the 12 benefits of Royal Certified Service, make a note of the cash savings or additional conveniences of each one, and total them up against th6 $3.00 monthly fee. We think you'll find that Royal Certified Service offers you excellent value for your money. Reduced Termplan Personal Loan Rate If you get a Royal Bank Termplan loan, you will be entitled to a special reduction of % of 1% off the current interest rate-now 12V2%. See our chart for specific savings examples. If you already have a Termplan loan, even though it may have been granted at an interest rate lower than 12'/2%, it is quite probable that you will qualify for a worthwhile credit based on the remaining term and balance outstanding. 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