A province-wide campaign to raise the minimum wage was launched today, with actions calling on the government to melt the freeze taking place around Ontario. In Toronto, over 200 people braved the cold outside the Ministry of Labour office, where a mountain of ice was set up on the Ministry’s doorsteps. Community members and labour representatives called on the government to raise the minimum wage to $14 – the amount needed to bring workers and their families above the poverty line. A delegation delivered a $10 bill frozen in a block of ice to a representative of Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi and demanded that he melt the 3 year freeze in the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, community and labour groups also rallied outside Ministry of Labour offices in Ottawa. ACORN member Megan Holiday spoke about the impact of low wages. Ottawa Labor Council president Sean McKinney and CUPE 4000 executive member Albert Dupuis also spoke about their support for a minimum wage increase. Despite the snow, people left fired up to continue this fight!
In Peterborough low wage, precarious workers, labour activists and community organizations presented MPP Jeff Leal’s office with a block of ice with $10.25 frozen inside, as well as information on the need to melt the freeze of the minimum wage. Delegations also visited MPP offices in Cornwall and London today. More updates and pictures to come!
It was a fantastic start to the province-wide actions that continue on Friday. Community members will deliver blocks of ice to over 30 MPPs in Hamilton, York Region, Kingston, Windsor, Belleville, Welland, Kitchener-Waterloo, Oshawa, Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury! We are coming together to demand a decent minimum wage that brings our communities out of poverty. The number of communities signing up to take action shows we can’t wait for a commission or another study – we need an increase now.
Media coverage so far (with more to come!)
Sault Ste. Marie
The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and Workers’ Action Centre Sign up to get updates here