Owner considers foreign workers for Red Lake Tims
Glitter of gold industry wages makes finding workers tough for fledgling Tim Hortons franchisee
People in Red Lake love their new Tim Hortons which opened last month — but not enough of them are applying to work there.
Franchise owner Ron Parks left his job as a miner to build the town's first "Timmies," however he said it's difficult to entice others to serve coffee for a living in gold mining boom town.
Parks said he needs about seven more full time staff for a full complement. For now, Red Lake high school students make up the majority of his part time staff.
Wages are an issue.
"There are some people that expect to get paid close to what the mine is paying, but there's no way possible that I can compete with the mine," he said.
Parks said he's offering better than minimum wage to attract workers, but it's hard to compete with mining wages, which can run more than $30 per hour. Minimum wage is slightly more than $10 per hour.
Parks also noted that "because of the housing shortage, people don't move to Red Lake. Lots of people are working in Red Lake, but they don't live in red lake. They fly in and out."
That has the franchise owner contemplating a more a global solution.
"I know there is one grocery store in town that has brought in some foreign workers," Parks said. "And we are actually looking at that right now. Tim Hortons has a foreign worker program you can apply for and if things don't get better here we're certainly going to move forward with that."