Unifor will continue to support $14 minimum wage
TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - The minimum wage increase announced by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne this morning is too small and locks in the poverty-level wages of the province's lowest-paid workers, Unifor says.
"A minimum wage of $11 an hour is still a poverty-level income. Tying it to inflation only ensures it stays below the poverty line," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Wynne announced this morning that her government will introduce legislation to increase the minimum wage to $11 an hour (from $10.25) effective June 1, and to tie future increases to inflation, as an expert panel recommended. The new rate would be announced April 1 of each year and take effect Oct. 1.
Unifor, along with other labour and anti-poverty groups, has supported a $14 minimum wage.
Dias said tying the rate to inflation is a good idea, but only if the minimum wage is set at a living wage first. Otherwise, limiting future increases to the inflation rate only ensures that the province's lowest-paid workers will remain in poverty.
"The priority needs to be to lift people out of poverty, not making laws that keep them there," Dias said.
Unifor will continue to push for a $14 minimum wage in the province, Dias said.
To read Unifor's submission to the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel, please visit: http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/submission_to_ontarios_minimum_wage_review_panel.pdf
Unifor is the largest union in the private sector, representing more than 300,000 workers in 20 different sectors. Unifor was formed last Labour Day weekend by the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.
For further information:
please contact Unifor Communications director Shannon Devine at 416-302-1699 (cell) or [email protected] or, Unifor Communications national representative Stuart Laidlaw at 647-385-4054 (cell) or [email protected].