$15 minimum wage "a tremendous step forward" for low-income workers

TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Supporters of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage welcome NDP leader Thomas Mulcair's pledge to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"A $15 minimum wage would be a tremendous step forward for workers," said Deena Ladd, Coordinator of the Workers' Action Centre. "This measure will strengthen the economy by putting more money in workers' pockets."

"While Ontario pushes ahead with a meagre 75 cent increase to the provincial minimum wage, this commitment shows real leadership to put fair wages on the national agenda," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "It positions the federal government as a key player in advancing a good jobs agenda."

Spokespersons for the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage note that consumer spending is a key pillar of Canada's economy and that the Bank of Canada has identified stagnant wages as a source of weakness that dampens demand and forces people into debt to make ends meet.

"Let's face it. No employer is going to increase production or staffing levels if people can't buy the goods and services already on offer - regardless of how many tax cuts are implemented," said Ladd. "What businesses need most are customers - that's why we need to focus on creating good jobs with decent wages for all workers."

So far, the federal NDP is the only party to pledge its commitment to a $15 minimum wage.

"This is not a partisan issue," said Woods. "Fair wages are fundamental to a strong economy and we would expect that any political party serious about tackling poverty and growing economy would make a similar commitment to fair pay and decent work."

The fight for a $15 minimum wage has been a key demand of the growing movement for fair wages across North America. Recently, a $15 minimum wage was legislated in the municipalities of Seattle and SeaTac in Washington.

For more information on the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, visit: www.raisetheminimumwage.ca.

Follow the campaign on Twitter at @fairwagesnow.

SOURCE: Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage

For further information:

Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage:
Deena Ladd, Workers' Action Centre: 416-836-2379 (cell) or 

Alastair Woods, Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario: 647-378-8942 (cell) 

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Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage

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