October 24th, 2023

Time for Houston to protect workers

HALIFAX – Nova Scotians continue to struggle with the rising cost of living, particularly low-wage workers. Most workers in the service industry, such as servers, bartenders, and cooks, make below a living wage and rely on tips to make ends meet.

“With the cost of everything going up we need a government that’s prepared to help Nova Scotia workers and make sure they get the wages they deserve,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “Most people, when they leave a tip assume it’s going to the person who served them or the team of staff who made them their meal. Many other provinces have protections like this for servers, Nova Scotia should do the same.”

Nova Scotia is the only province in Atlantic Canada without legislation that protects workers against employers taking all or part of service gratuities.

“This effectively makes it legal for bosses to steal workers’ tips and means that there is no guarantee tips from customers go to workers,” said Halifax WAC organizer Sydnee Blum. “A recent Halifax WAC survey found that 73% of respondents had some experience with tip theft - whether they were currently having their tips stolen, previously worked somewhere where tips were stolen, or knew someone who was experiencing tip theft. Surprisingly 100% of survey respondents, people across the political aisle, were in support of banning tip-theft. Unfortunately, with current legislation workers have no way of retaliating against this unfair practice.”

Today, the NSNDP will introduce amendments to the Labour Standards Code that would prevent an employer from withholding tips or using them as wages.