This heartbreaking video ad about IGA employees in British Columbia showed up while I was watching YouTube today.

It was very touching and made me stop and think… “What will happen to those poor IGA employees?”


The short answer to that question will be… exactly what happens to many employees in this new job market.

Sooner or later they will either be replaced by someone younger, cheaper and faster or the company will be sold and they have to go and find a job elsewhere.

An employee is an “employee”.

Noun: a person working for another person or a business firm for pay.

Does IGA or the CEO, Brandt Channing Louie in Canada owe them an explanation if the company decides to either sell or move a store?

Not really. Some business deals have to stay confidential until the deal is sealed. Making it public might jeopardize the deal.

No one owes the employees anything apart from the pay they were promised for the hours they already worked. Unions and other organizations can protect the rights of employees if they are being mistreated or fired for unjust causes.

Think of an employee like a babysitter. They are there to take care of the baby while the parents are away. They don’t become the babies parents or relatives or “family” and they are not entitled to know if the home owners plan to sell their home and move to another city. They are there to be paid for the hours they worked.

Of course its in the best interest of the parent to treat the babysitter well because they are trusting them with the life of their baby!

IGA Salaries

That’s why businesses go out of their way to make sure their employees are well taken care of. Not because they are obligated to but because they know that the employees have a huge impact on how the business runs and ultimately the bottom line.

But they are still replaceable..

I tried to find out how much IGA employees make in Canada and came across some numbers from Glassdoor that show a range of $8.24 – $12.07 an hour.

I am pretty sure some of the management team and those who have been there for a while make more than that. Moving to a new store or another grocery chain will most likely bring them back to reality of how much these jobs are really worth these days.

T. Harv Eker said it best “You will be paid in direct proportion to the value you create in the marketplace.” – Secrets of The Millionaire Mind.

There are three main factors that determine how much you make:

  1. Competition: The number of people who are capable of performing any particular job
  2. Education: The amount of specialized skills or education needed to perform the job
  3. Leverage: Number of people that are impacted or benefit from your work

When you consider the above, it becomes easy to see why retail and fast food chain employees make so little money:

  • There are endless supply of workers who can fill those positions
  • No specialized skills or education is required… even teenagers can do them
  • They only impact a small amount of people at any given time, which means they cannot be leveraged

“Somehow, somewhere the majority of humanity subscribed to the employment model. They are waiting for someone to create the job for them, discover them, hire them, train them, nurture them and reward them with bonuses for a job well done.”
(Design Your Income Online)

If you remain an employee and going after high competition jobs that require little education and only serve a small number of people, your pay will always be low and sooner or later that will even be taken away from you.

That’s why I stress to all my students and coaching clients that they need to start thinking of themselves like a business, even if they are an employee right now.

  • Always look for multiple sources of income for your business which is “You Inc.”
  • Treat your employer like a client
  • Keep improving your skills so you don’t get stuck in the same job for years
  • Provide massive value in the marketplace

Most of all, start a business on the side. Before you know it that business might pay you more than a “job”.


What you can do about it…

Visit and decide if you want to sign the petition or not.

Here is what the page says:

TO: Mr. Brandt Louie CEO, H.Y. Louie Co.
I would encourage you to address the uncertainty faced by your employees about the future of four IGA stores in Vancouver, Burnaby and West Vancouver. Through both IGA and London Drugs, H.Y. Louie is a respected name in B.C.’s retail sector. I urge you to have a meaningful conversation with your IGA staff and their union so that the interests of your company are balanced with the interests of your employees.

About IGA (according to their website)

The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) was founded in 1926, bringing together independent grocers across the United States to ensure that the trusted, family-owned local grocery store remained strong in the face of growing chain competition.

Today, that entrepreneurial family business spirit is alive and well, and communities across the U.S. are being served by second, third and even fourth generation independent IGA retailers. And IGA is expanding across the globe, as well; IGA’s Hometown Proud stores can now be found all around the world.

In a time of cookie-cutter chains, IGA stores stand out as distinctively unique, just like the communities they serve. Stop in your local IGA and experience shopping the IGA way—with a promise of neighborly service from people you know and trust.

The first IGA store opens in Canada in 1951.

About Brandt Channing Louie (from Wikipedia)

Brandt Channing Louie (born 5 July 1943) OBC (Chinese: 雷震瀛; pinyin: Léi Zhènyíng) is a Canadian accountant and businessman. He is the President and CEO of H.Y. Louie Co. Limited (distributor to IGA stores in British Columbia), and Chairman of London Drugs Limited.

He succeeded his late father Louie Tong in 1998 on the elder man’s death. Brandt Louie was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by British Columbia Business. As Chairman/CEO, Louie leads London Drugs charity committee, which oversees the company’s corporate contributions to health and wellness organizations, medical research, education and the arts.