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Rise Up! #193- Anastasia French

Map showing the 2022 living wage across BC

Inflation is hitting all of us hard these days, and it's doubly tough at the bakery, where food costs are rising at home and at work. Also, what is the impact on our employees, when food service workers are traditionally underpaid?

Anastasia French is part of the Living Wage for Families BC Campaign, and is advocating for employers across all industries to pay their workers enough to cover their basic needs. To live safely, to make rent, to put food on the table and clothes on their backs.

In our conversation, I learn about how the Living Wage is calculated and how the past year's greedflation, especially in housing and food, have affected the living wage in BC. I also learned about how Anastasia and her colleagues are helping business owners make the transition to paying a living wage, and their advocacy work to government to focus on programs that will bring the living wage down for everyone. We also talk about tipping culture and the tradeoffs that implies for food service workers.

This is a sensitive topic for many bakery owners I talk to. It sure was for me when we ran Orange Boot Bakery. It's one of those things that we all want to do, but most of us don't think we can afford to do because of 'the system' or 'the industry.' So I'm grateful that there are groups like Anastasia's that can help us focus on the benefits of financial safety for our workers and help us figure out strategies to achieve it.