Majority of Canadians support $10.00 an hour minimum wage



    OTTAWA, March 13 /CNW Telbec/ - A recent national poll found that three
in four Canadians think the minimum wage should be increased to at least
$10.00 an hour. "The average minimum wage in Canada is currently less than
$7.60, which would put a single individual who works full time under the
poverty line," said Canadian Union of Public Employees - CUPE, National
President Paul Moist.
    According to the Vector(TM) poll 74% of respondents favoured raising the
minimum wage to $10 an hour after hearing arguments for and against it. "This
certainly reflects what I am hearing from people across the country. Canadians
understand that there is something wrong when you work full time and still
find yourself living in poverty," Moist said.
    "This is an issue of fairness for all of us - families, employers,
communities. Not surprisingly, low wages are one of the reasons behind
Canada's 18 per cent rate of child and family poverty. One- third of low
income children live in families in which at least one parent works full time
all year but still cannot climb out of poverty," said Laurel Rothman, National
Coordinator of Campaign 2000, a cross-Canada coalition advocating to end child
and family poverty.
    A solid majority of Canadians polled in every region and from all walks
of life support the increase.
    The recent report on federal labour standards addressed the issue of a
federal minimum wage and stated, 'this is an issue of fundamental decency that
no modern, prosperous country like Canada can ignore'.
    "Prime Minister Harper must take the initiative and show leadership to
combat poverty and economic insecurity for Canadian families at home and
re-introduce a federal minimum wage at - $10.00 an hour. Provinces must also
move forward to increase their minimum wages to similar levels," concluded
Moist.

    The Canadian Union of Public employees represents one in sixty working
Canadians, and at over half a million members, is Canada's largest union.




For further information:

For further information: Paul Moist, CUPE national president,
(613)-237-1590 ext. 224, (613) 558-2873 (cell); Toby Sanger, CUPE economist,
(613) 237-1590 ext. 241, (613) 720-6955 (cell); Laurel Rothman, Coordinator
Campaign 2000, (416) 595-9230 ext. 228; Sandra Sorensen, CUPE Communications,
(613) 237-1590 ext. 334

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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