Labour Costs Rise At Leamington Greenhouse

A Leamington greenhouse operator is wondering where he is going to find the extra money to pay his workers now that a jump in minimum wage has taken effect.

As of January 1, 2018, people across Ontario saw their wages rise to $14/hour, up from $11.60/hour.

Speaking on AM800's the Lynn Martin Show, Jamie Diniro of Diniro Farms says as a small greenhouse owner with 19 acres, he doesn't know where he is going to find the extra labour costs which will amount to $200,000 next year.

The minimum wage will increase again to $15/hour in 2019.

"How do you cut back any type of employees when you have to pick your product every day?" he asks.  "We are going to go week by week, we are going to try and cut back, trim the fat wherever we can but I grow english cucumbers, when the cucumbers are ready, it is not like I can say everyone is going to be done at 2 o'clock today and let them over ripen on the plant."

Diniro agrees with an increase in wages, but believes the jump was too much.

"She (Premier Kathleen Wynne) could have done 50 cents this year, another 50 cents the following year, the next, you go up two to three bucks at a time, how are you suppose to make it up that quickly."

As part of Ontario's Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, workers will get at least three weeks vacation after five years with the same employer.