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Opinion: Life through Queer Eyes. Is the new generation lazy or just smart?

This claim by some employers that there is a labour shortage is indeed false because it allows them to keep paying crappy wages and offering part time or casual jobs, which people just cannot live on. It’s a full time, good paying jobs that we are short on.
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Min wage should be $20.70 per in Northern Ontario. Find a job that pays that.

There are many comments about our next generation being lazy, not wanting to work, and not willing to get out there to do anything. But is this reality or is our newer generations just smarter when it comes to working?

It raises a lot of questions about our society and how it's moving forward. According to Ontario Living Wage Network, they are saying to live your life, which means just paying your basic bills, like rent, food, car payment, and gas, you need to earn a minimum of $20.70 in Northern Ontario. This rate does not include things like attending a movie, or concert, going to a gym, travelling and so much more.

Clearly, this tells us, that if someone wants that work-life balance, they need to have a higher income than $20.70 per hour. A work-life balance is more important than many older folks seem to think, as it helps with better overall health and mental health.

When looking at the job market, the majority of jobs appear to be part-time, or casual positions, which do not pay the bills, and sure in my day we would work three jobs to make ends meet, but why? Think about all the time we lost going from one job to another, all the time we could have spent with our kids, and family, doing things we love, or just doing simple things like going for a walk or reading a book. Imagine the impact on your life if you had those opportunities.

What many people also seem to forget is our working environments. Many older folks would continue to work even when they had a toxic boss, or they were in a work environment that was discriminatory or racist, etc. Because, we stuck to the old saying, “Got to put food on the table.”, they would work that job, for that boss for many years. But at what cost? Feeling like you do not matter? Feeling depressed? What did it cost you on your mental and physical health not to mention others who were around you like your family?

Are the upcoming generations understanding all this, while some older folks have this ongoing statement, “When I was your age, …….”. But then the question comes, why did you believe you needed to live like that?

Let's be real for once, large corporations have increased their profits beyond anything they have had in the past. They keep raising prices, and the people still buy their products, because we must buy things like food, housing, fuel, oil, etc. to survive and these companies know this. We have governments that spend more time blaming each other at parliament in Ottawa or Queen’s Park, than truly finding ways to make life better for everyone. Corporate greed has caused inflation and the government tries to combat all this with higher interest rates etc.

Here is what I believe.

Our younger generation has a full understanding of what is happening in the world. They get it more than any of us older folks ever did. They want the work-life balance, but they do not want to work three part-time jobs, work for a boss that is toxic, or be in a work environment that isn’t good for the employees because let’s face it, some business owners, and managers have no skills when it comes to working with people and learning to understand what employees want or need. Some even seem to think that yelling at people or calling them names is what motivates them, yet it has always done the opposite. Younger generations will just not stay with an employee that does not listen, nor appreciate them as an employee. Everyone has value in a business. They want the work-life balance, paid decently.

There is nothing wrong with this.

One thing to keep in mind, every time our minimum wage goes up, the spending goes up and it has always had a positive effect on local economies. Remember when Premier Kathleen Wynne raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour? Many people claimed the sky would fall and that did not happen. Prices really did not increase either. Even our own MPP Vic Fedeli was against this. At the end of the day, our local economy saw a boost in spending that came from minimum wage earners.

Many countries have learned that a livable wage is the right thing to do. People claim that big corporations will leave, the sky will fall, all our prices will go up, and the world will collapse because someone got a decent pay cheque. When in fact, this is proven to be wrong every time. Look at McDonald's, they never left the countries that pay a min wage of $22 per hour and their Big Mac has actually been cheaper than in the USA. And corporations pay their fair share of taxes so you do not have to pay fees when using healthcare, or getting prescriptions because they are covered by those tax dollars.

The fact is, it looks like the younger generations are getting it when it comes to working and living their life. They want to work for someone that treats them right and pays them decently. If a CEO can have huge bonuses, then an employer can do more than buy pizza for their employees to say thank you. Employers need to understand that times have changed and if you want employees, good employees who stay, pay them well, give them full-time positions with benefits and treat them like they have value. Because at the end of the day, if you have no employees, then you have no business, and if you have no business, you are the employees of someone else.

This claim by some employers that there is a labour shortage is indeed false because it allows them to keep paying crappy wages and offering part-time or casual jobs, which people just cannot live on. It’s a full-time, good-paying job that we are short on. And if you are one of those employers who is missing these messages, then you really do not deserve good employees, because everyone deserves a job to live their life, not live their life for a job.

Jason Maclennan

Life through Queer Eyes