TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Representatives of the newly created
Canadian union Unifor appeared before the Ontario panel studying
minimum wages in the province today, and called for the minimum wage to
be increased to $14 per hour.
The presentation was made by Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan, both
economists working in Unifor's Research Department.
The Unifor submission pointed out that the current minimum wage ($10.25
per hour) has been frozen for three-and-a-half years, during which time
its real purchasing power has eroded by over 7 per cent (compared to
average consumer prices in the province).
"It is terribly unfair that Ontario's lowest-income workers have
experienced such a significant reduction in their real wages, at a time
when working families need every penny," said Stanford.
The Unifor submission also endorsed the concept of a "living wage,"
which is a wage sufficient to allow a family of four, with two
wage-earners, to pay for the basic necessities of family life. Studies
have estimated the living wage in Ontario to be around $18 per hour,
and so increasing the statutory minimum to $14 must be only the first
step of a broader strategy required to ensure all Ontario workers can
enjoy decent living standards.
The union's submission reviewed economic evidence regarding the link
between minimum wages and employment levels, and concluded that a
higher minimum wage would not have any negative impact on employment.
In fact, by boosting purchasing power and consumer spending, and
helping lower-income families reduce their debt loads, a higher minimum
wage could actually have a net positive impact on jobs.
For further information:
For further information or comment, please contact Jim Stanford, Unifor economist (cell) 416-230-2046.
For the full submission, please contact Jim Stanford firstname.lastname@example.org or Unifor Communications Director Shannon Devine Shannon.email@example.com